"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Continuing with our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back,” we asked creators and other industry figures what they liked in 2014, what they’re looking forward to in 2015, and what projects they have planned for the coming year.
In this installment, we hear from G. Willow Wilson, Tom Spurgeon, Paul Maybury, Chris Roberson, Carla Speed McNeil, Claire Connelly, Patrick Dean, Michael Allred, Amy Chu, Jamie S. Rich, David Lopez and Jeff Loveness!
Warren Ellis and Michael Allred’s collaboration The Spirit of Bacardi, which retraces the history of the company, has made its online debut.
As we noted last month, the graphic novel — commissioned by Bacardi — focuses on Emilio Bacardi, son of Bacardi creator Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, “and his tireless work for Cuban independence from Spain in the late 1800s.” Emilio Bacardí was imprisoned and exiled, but eventually became the first freely elected mayor of Santiago de Cuba.
Warren Ellis and Michael Allred have collaborated on a graphic novel, but it’s not likely one you expected.
The two were hired to tell the story of Bacardi, dating back to the company’s founding in 1862 in Cuba, in a graphic novel called The Spirit of Bacardi. It will be available for digital download on Aug. 6.
All it took was a television adaptation for iZombie fans to get a statue of protagonist Gwen Dylan, designed by series artist Michael Allred. Revealed this morning by TV Guide, the DC Collectibles sculpture by Phil Ramirez is about 9.25 inches tall; it goes on sale in November for $99.95.
The statue doesn’t much resemble actress Rose McIver, who plays the lead in The CW’s upcoming supernatural procedural, but some might argue that the show doesn’t much resemble the Vertigo series by Allred and Chris Roberson.
Kevin Smith has unveiled Michael Allred’s variant cover for the first issue of Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet, the upcoming 12-part DC Comics/Dynamite Entertainment digital-first crossover.
Written by Smith and Ralph Garman and illustrated by Ty Templeton, the biweekly series is being treated by the creative team as a lost sequel to the two-part 1967 Batman episode that brought Green Hornet and Kato to Gotham City to break up Colonel Gumm’s counterfeit-stamp ring.
Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet debuts May 21 in digital format and June 4 in print.
Happy Easter and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where we review the stuff we’ve been checking out lately. Today we are joined by Miranda Mercury and Voltron writer Brandon Thomas, whose collection of original art and other stuff we featured in Shelf Porn yesterday.
To see what Brandon and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
DC Comics will expand its digital-first comics line this summer with the debut of Batman ’66, a series based on the classic television series.
The announcement came last night in Hollywood, where Warner Bros. Consumer Products launched its Batman Classic Television Series licensing program during an event co-hosted by Junk Food Clothing and Meltdown Comics.
Inspired by the television series, which aired from 1966 to 1968 on ABC, Batman ’66 is written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Jonathan Case. In an ironic turn, Michael Allred, whose Adam West/Batusi cover (below) couldn’t be used for DC’s Solo because of legal issues, will be providing the cover for the first issue. Like the DC’s other digital-first comics, Batman ’66 will be collected monthly in print.
FF artist Michael Allred and colorist Laura Allred returned this morning from a trip to Arizona to find their home near Eugene, Oregon, burglarized.
“Just home from Arizona to met by cops,” Michael Allred wrote this afternoon on Twitter. “Our house has been broken into. Trashed. Computers gone. Monitors. And won’t know what else […] Appreciate all concerned. Teary eyes held high. Only tweeted this cuz won’t have access to emails for a while. Yay 21st Century!”
“Good will & happy thoughts are all we need,” he continued. “Main concern is getting next issues of FF in on time. Good timing with @Joe_Quinones guesting. It’s just stuff, right?”
The Allreds’ lakeside home was featured in 2007 as part of Comic Book Resources’ “Studio Tours” series.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we regularly talk about the comics we’ve been reading lately. Our special guest today is homebrewing enthusiast and first-time publisher Joshua Henaman. He’s the creator of Bigfoot – Sword of the Earthman, a sword, sorcery and Sasquatch epic self-published under the Brewhouse Comics banner with art duties by Andy Taylor. It’s available in select stores and via online ordering at www.bigfootcomic.com.
To see what Joshua and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Digital comics | I talked to Viz Media Executive Vice President Alvin Lu and the head of Viz Labs, Gagan Singh, about the company’s digital strategy, which includes the recent announcement that their digital magazine Shonen Jump Alpha will publish manga chapters simultaneously with Japan; the idea, Lu explains is to create the same sort of weekly ritual that superhero comics readers have, and to use the digital releases to build a community both online and in the real world. [Good E-Reader]
Creators | Fantastic Four was the first Marvel Universe comic, so it has been around for a while, but writer Matt Fraction is doing his best to keep it fresh: “Anything you can do to run contrary-wise to expectation to keep people guessing and wondering and entertained and surprised, you should do because otherwise people are going to dismiss the book as ‘Been there, read that.'” [USA Today]
In 1972, Wonder Woman famously graced the cover of the premiere issue of Ms. under the words “Wonder Woman For President,” and now, four decades later, she returns in an illustration by Michael Allred and Laura Allred for the magazine’s 40th anniversary. The cover’s subject was teased last week on Twitter with three hints: “This woman was born during World War II,” “This woman has her own line of MAC cosmetics” and, just in case that wasn’t enough, “She has been featured on her own television series.”
This marks Wonder Woman’s fourth time on the cover of Ms. (you can see all of her appearances below). The magazine is even offering the Allreds’ illustration as a poster, if you subscribe.
Comic creators are known to sometimes hold release parties in support of their books, but writer Jamie S. Rich is doing three — and doing them all in one day, and all in one town.
Coinciding with today’s debut of his new series It Girl & The Atomics, Rich is holding signings at three Portland, Oregon-area comic shops: From 2 to 7 p.m. (and possibly a little bit later), he’ll criss-cross PDX for events at Floating World Comics, Bridge City Comics and Cosmic Monkey Comics.
“I wanted to do something different,” Rich said in a press release. “I could have picked one store and had a standard release party, but instead I decided to go more guerrilla. I chose three shops in different parts of town and mapped out a way to hit them all before closing time.”
Portland has become a de facto comics mecca, second only to New York City as a hotbed of American comic creators and publishers. Rich himself is a long-time resident, having worked as an editor at two area comic publishers, Dark Horse and Oni Press.
Years into a full-time writing career, Rich has become a staple in the comics community in the Rose City. If you’re interested in crossing paths with Rich today at one of the three comic stores he’s attending, contact the stories for approximate times.
Publishing | Emily Nilsson, wife of Sparkplug Books publisher Dylan Williams, said she plans to continue running the publishing company after the death of her husband. “We need your support now as much as ever,” she said in a post on the Sparkplug blog. “We are grieving at the same time as we are trying to keep business afloat, and trying not to overstrain ourselves. We want to publish again soon but that is a step we will consider more once we get through the next few months.” Nilsson, Virginia Paine and Tom Neely will continue to run Sparkplug, with plans to continue online sales and attend conventions like the upcoming MIX in Minneapolis next month and the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival in December. Williams passed away in September due to complications from cancer. [Sparkplug]
Legal | Michael George, the former comics retailer found guilty of murder for the second time, is in the Macomb County (Mich.) jail after his bond was revoked following Tuesday’s verdict. George was found guilty of murdering his first wife Barbara in the back of their comic book store in 1990. “The family’s ecstatic,” said Barbara’s brother Joe Kowynia. “There’s no way a jury is going to get this wrong twice. I feel sorry for my nieces, this is long overdue. Now that this is over, Barb can rest in peace. And we can move on and he can rot in jail.” [Detroit Free Press]
Last month we mentioned MAC Cosmetics’ Wonder Woman collection — Themyscira mascara! Obey Me nail polish! — which is being marketed with stunning art by Michael Allred. Now, just in time for today’s line launch, MAC has debuted a trailer/motion comic — featuring even more Michael Allred art.