Conventions | Last week’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo drew 53,000 attendees, the largest crowd yet for the Chicago-based show, which is in its fourth year. Reed Exhibitions Group Vice President Lance Fensterman talks about the high points of the show and plans for the next couple of years. [ICv2]
Graphic novels | Heidi MacDonald tracks the rise in popularity of graphic novels among librarians, whose support has been integral to the growth of the industry. Her well-researched article includes interviews with public librarians, school librarians, and academic librarians, as well as publishers and others in the field. It’s a comprehensive overview of one of the most important, and least reported-on, areas of our world. [Publishers Weekly]
Comics | Alex Hern looks at three comics that have long been out of print but are now back, or possibly on their way back: Flex Mentallo, Marvelman and Zenith. [The New Statesman]
In “By the Numbers,” ROBOT 6 takes a look back at the events of the past five days … in numbers.
With Thursday’s announcement that Neil Gaiman is returning to the Marvel Universe and bringing with him Angela, the character at the center of his eight-year legal battle with Todd McFarlane, we’re left to wonder about the whereabouts of Marvelman. We also look at the surprise departures at DC Comics, and what the right price is when you name your own.
Marvel’s turning over a new leaf, so to speak, as it enters the Marvel NOW! era. But in that amid the flurry of new titles, new line-ups and new creators, we’re finding some notable absences — notable to us at least. While some missed heroes like Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Mockingbird have popped up in cameos here and there, there are still a significant number of popular players waiting to be brought onto the field. In this installment of “Six by 6,” we suss out six such characters and zero in on their last whereabouts, and where some of them might show up next.
This is going to be another “we liked it the old way” type of post. I take no particular pleasure in these, because there are only so many ways to rail against change, especially changes involving decades-old characters and concepts.
Nevertheless, the latest charges of Crimes Against Tradition are against the new Earth 2 and “Shazam!” features. The original Earth-Two came to represent generations of superheroes active since the late 1930s, but the current one is apparently “five years of supers, give or take”; and the new don’t-say-the-M-word “Shazam” is apparently also something called the Third Sinner. So yes, DC, I try to be open-minded, I will give these things reasonable chances to win me over, and no one has destroyed my treasured old comics — but wow, you don’t make it easy.
Therefore, today I want to look at why the old versions might still matter, but just as importantly why they still matter to fogeys like me.
Okay, all the way back to December of last year, the Marvel solicitations for March 2010 had information about the exciting new two-issue mini-series, BREAKING INTO COMICS THE MARVEL WAY! I talked about it last week and, while it was not exactly what I was looking for, it was a fun little book that was more like a ‘Broke Into’ than a ‘Breaking Into’ book. No matter, says I! There’s always issue #2 and who knows, maybe they saved all of the, and I quote, “step-by-step submission information and a sample Marvel Comics script” for the next issue!
Yeah, not so much. No script, some important but pre-twittered intel on how submissions are handled, four tips big font and a ‘go get ‘em, Tiger!’ letter at the end from Mr. Cebulski. I’m not saying this wasn’t useful, but it’s not exactly the step-by-step guide they promised. Maybe after they realized they hired 114 new freelancers, they decided to keep the best secrets for themselves.
Anyhoo, that’s in the past and this week’s present, let’s talk about the future! June 2010 solicitations are out, so let’s remember this all now so when June rolls around and there’s any disappointment, we can all say we told ourselves so.
Okay, that was mean. Let’s go enjoy some comics.
Continue Reading »
“I think I just wrote a Robot 6 article,” Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said via his Twitter account yesterday evening. Right you are, Tom! This blog’s official Top Tweeter of 2009 kept the magic alive yesterday with an impassioned defense of the controversy du jour, Marvel’s offer to swap unsold DC comics for a Deadpool variant (more on that later). But perhaps even more notably, he posted some revealing comments about the status of Marvel’s recently acquired Marvelman.
On another note, attended a cool Marvelman meeting today where Neil Gaiman told us how his last 2 unfinished storylines will end. Been waitin something like 17 years to find that out!
Brevoort’s followers were soon popping the champagne, but the editor was quick to point out that he was not saying Gaiman would necessarily return to finish the stories, and that future plans for the title have yet to be confirmed:
Legal | An Egyptian court on Saturday officially banned Metro, considered that country’s first graphic novel, and found author Magdy al Shafee and publisher Mohammed al Sharqawi guilty of printing and distributing a publication infringing public decency. The two were fined the equivalent of about $916; they could have received up to two years in prison. Shafee has vowed to fight the ruling.
Shafee and Sharqawi were arrested in April 2008 after police raided the publisher’s offices and confiscated all copies of Metro, which centers on a young software designer in a modern and corrupt Cairo who turns to bank robbery to repay underworld loan sharks. Retailers were immediately ordered to remove the book from their shelves. You can read a translated excerpt of Metro here. [Zawya]
Legal | President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines last week signed into law the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, which bans real and “virtual” child pornography, including comic-book depictions. [Anime News Network]
While currently this is nothing more than pure conjecture, a quick Google search has led this part-time blogger to believe that the much-hyped, super-secret, forthcoming Mark Millar/Steve McNiven project for Marvel is in fact a Marvelman series.
Millar announced Friday that he and McNiven – his collaborator on Civil War and “Old Man Logan” – are joining forces on Nemesis for the House of Ideas with an expected launch date of March 2010.
“Nemesis” just so happens to be the subtitle of Miracleman #15 , written by Alan Moore and penciled by John T. Totleben.
Considered by many to be the most “shocking,” “disturbing” and “sought-after” appearance of the Mick Anglo creation, the issue features an epic battle between Miracleman and his “nemesis” Kid Miracleman.
Did Millar land the ultimate gig to be the man responsible for folding the classic British hero into the Marvel Universe?
Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada has apparently been listening to pitches since the publisher announced at Comic-Con International that it had purchased the rights to the property. Who better than the Glaswegian scribe to reintroduce Marvelman?
Again, nothing but a late-night musing here, but what do you think?
In an interview with Kurt Amacker for Mania, Alan Moore discussed in detail his feelings towards Marvel’s purchase of the Marvelman character and the chance of ever seeing his own version of the character in print again. In a nutshell: He’s fine with it all as long as his name is kept off the credits and the character’s original creator, Mick Anglo, gets to keep all the money:
After being initially informed by Neil’s lawyer, I had to think about it for a couple of days. I decided that while I’m very happy for this book to get published—because that means money will finally go to Marvelman’s creator, Mick Anglo, and to his wife. Mick is very, very old, and his wife, I believe, is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The actual Marvelman story is such a grim and ugly one that I would probably rather that the work was published without my name on it, and that all of the money went to Mick. The decision about my name was largely based upon my history with Marvel—my desire to really have nothing to do with them, and my increasing desire to have nothing to do with the American comics industry. I mean, they’re probably are enough books out there with my name on them to keep the comics industry afloat for a little bit longer. I left a message to that effect with Neil. I’ve since heard back from the lawyer upon another issue, and he said that he was certain that would be the case—that Marvel would accede to my request. That looks like the way it will be emerging. And, Neil will be able to finish his Marvelman story because he has a completely different relationship with Marvel than I have with them—or rather, don’t have. The main thing is that I will feel happy to know that Mick Anglo is finally getting the recompense he so richly deserves. And, I will have distanced myself from a lot of the deceit and ugliness that surrounded the relaunching of Marvelman as a character.
Moore also has a few nasty words for former Warrior editor Dez Skinn and Eclipse Comics, and goes into great detail about how he came up with his own unique take on the character. Go read the whole thing.
Although he admits he’s uncertain what will happen with the property, Neil Gaiman says he’s “delighted” that Marvel has acquired the rights to Marvelman, and would like to complete the story he began nearly two decades ago.
Gaiman succeeded Alan Moore as writer on the series, then called Miracleman because of trademark concerns, with 1990′s Issue 17. He collaborated with artist Mark Buckingham through Issue 25, which was never published because of the collapse of Eclipse Comics. That issue would have reintroduced Kid Miracleman.
“Right now I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen,” Gaiman writes this morning on his website, “and Mark Buckingham and I haven’t signed anything, but I’m really hopeful that Marvel will bring Alan Moore’s stories back into print, and the work I did with Mark Buckingham (Miracleman 25 was finished, ready for printing, 16 years ago. It’s still in Mark Buckingham’s possession, although some of the lettering balloons have gone a bit yellow.) I’m not entirely sure what Marvel’s plans are for the character at this point — obviously I’d like to finish the story I started.”
Gaiman elaborates a little more in this brief interview with Matthew Surridge for the Montreal Gazette: “… To be honest, I’m just delighted that Marvel have acquired the rights legally, and are talking right now with us about reprinting the work, bringing the work back ethically. Which is a lot more than – you know, [Canadian comics creator] Todd McFarlane [who] … announced that he was going to be reprinting it without paying us. Things are definitely in a better place.”
For more on the complicated history of Mick Anglo’s Marvelman/Miracleman, be sure to check out Chris Mautner’s overiew.
We’ve noticed some confusion surrounding Marvel’s big announcement about its acquisition of Marvelman. Namely, some are wondering why this is big news, or asking who this Marvelman is anyway.
Fear not, we can help. After the break you’ll find a guide to the whys and wherefores of Marvelman and why this really, truly is a really, really big deal.
Note: Parts of this article originally appeared here, as part of the “Collect This Now!”feature. It’s been refurbished quite a bit, though.