Welcome to What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Chris Duffy, editor of First Second’s Nursery Rhyme Comics. We spotlighted this anthology project all week here on Robot 6; check out our interviews with Chris as well as contributors Scott C., Aaron Reiner, Richard Sala and Eleanor Davis.
And to see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15, I’d first grab hold of my favorite of DC’s New 52, Batwoman #2 (DC, $2.99). J.H. Williams III has successfully kept up to the immense expectations he accumulated following his run with Greg Rucka, and the artwork seems to benefit even more by J.H.’s input into the story as co-writer. Next I’d dig down for two of my regular pulls, Northlanders #45 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and Uncanny X-Force #16 (Marvel, $3.99). For my final pick, I’d have to miss a bunch of other titles for the chance to get the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 #4 (Image, $4.99). I love the anthology format, and having that plus the good cause plus the a-list talent makes it a must get; seriously, can you imagine one comic book containing new work by Frank Quitely, Williams, Mark Waid, J. Michael Straczynski, Matt Wagner AND Craig Thompson? BELIEVE IT!
Legal | Prosecutors in Macomb County, Michigan, rested their case Friday in the second trial of Michael George, a former retailer and convention organizer accused of the 1990 murder of his first wife Barbara in the back room of their Clinton Township comic store. The judge this morning will hear a defense motion for a directed verdict, seeking dismissal due to lack of evidence, before testimony resumes.
George, now 51, was arrested in August 2007, after a detective reopened the cold case, and convicted seven months later of first-degree murder and insurance fraud, among other counts, and sentenced to life in prison. However, the judge later set aside the verdict, citing prosecutorial misconduct — George’s mug shot was shown to the jury — and the release of new evidence that could lead the jury to believe another person was responsible for the murder. His retrial began Sept. 14, and should conclude this week. Prosecutors contend that George staged the killing to look like a robbery so he could collect money from an insurance policy and a shared estate, and start over with another woman. George insists he was asleep at the time of the shooting, and that his wife was the victim of a robbery gone wrong. [Daily Tribune]
Publishing | Chip Mosher, marketing and sales director for BOOM! Studios, left the publisher on Friday after four years. Marketing coordinator Emily McGuiness will take over his duties. [BOOM! Studios]
Say the name Liam Sharp to a group of comic readers and it’s bound to bring up different images for each person. To some he’s best known for the early ’90s Marvel UK series Death’s Head II, while others think Judge Dredd and even others remember his ill-fated comic company Mamtor from a few years back. Although Mamtor failed to become a lasting presence, it featured impeccable work (and design from Tom Muller) that is a great back-issue find if you’re so lucky. And at Comic-Con International over weekend, Sharp announced his new publishing outfit — Madefire Publishing.
Launching as a digital-first comics publisher, Madefire is intended to be a modern-day equivalent of the comics from Sharp’s childhood — “cheep, accessible entertainment,” as he’s told Bleeding Cool. Using the wide user base of smartphones, Madefire’s digital comics app hopes to touch into both the hardcore fan, the lapsed fan and the future fan with their line-up of titles.
In addition to his own project Captain Stone is Missing, Sharp has assembled a great line-up of creators for the effort, including Mike Carey and Dave Kendall’s Houses of the Holy and a new series called Treatment written and drawn by Dave Gibbons (!!).
No word yet on when their first projects will be released, but I’ll be keeping my ears up looking for more information as its announced.
This year’s Best Comic/Graphic Novel category includes a bit of an oddity, in that CLiNT, from Mark Millar and Titan Publishing, isn’t actually a comic or graphic novel but rather an entertainment magazine that serializes such works as Kick-Ass 2, Superior, The Pro and Turf.
The nominees for Best Comic/Graphic Novel are:
• CLiNT, edited by Mark Millar (Titan)
• Grandville Mon Amour, by Bryan Talbot (Jonathan Cape)
• Neonomicon, by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (Avatar)
• The Mountains of Madness, by Ian Culbard (Self Made Hero)
• The Unwritten, Vols 1 & 2, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Titan Books)
Members of the British Fantasy Society and attendees of FantasyCon 2010 and 2011 are eligible to vote.
Finalists have been announced for the 2011 Hugo Awards, which recognize the best in science fiction and fantasy.
Presented annually since 1955 by the World Science Fiction Society, the Hugo is among science fiction’s most prestigious awards. This year’s winner will be presented Aug. 20 in Reno, Nevada, during Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention.
The nominees for best graphic story are:
• Fables, Vol. 14: Witches, written by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Craig Hamilton and David Lapham (Vertigo)
• Girl Genius, Vol. 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
• Grandville Mon Amour, by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
• Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode)
• The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man, written by Mike Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
This is the third year for the graphic story category. Girl Genius won the award the two previous years.
The full list of nominees can be found on the Renovation website.
Retailing | A bankruptcy judge is expected to hear arguments today from the bankrupt Borders Group, which is seeking to pay $8.3 million in bonuses in a bid to retain key corporate personnel. The struggling bookseller says that 47 executives and director-level employees have quit since the company declared bankruptcy on Feb. 16 — two dozen just this month — leaving only 15 people in senior management positions. In a court filing last week, U.S. bankruptcy trustee Tracy Hope Davis objected to the bonus proposal, characterizing it as “a disguised retention plan for insiders, which also provides for discriminatory bonuses for non-insiders.” [The Detroit News]
Publishing | Todd Allen looks at sales estimates for the first issues in Marvel’s “Point One” initiative, which featured self-contained stories designed to serve as a jumping-on point for new or lapsed readers: “With the sole exception of Hulk, retailers ordered less copies of the ‘jump on’ issue, than the regular series. If you figure people picking up the title would also pick up the ‘.1′ introductory issue, this is a flaming disaster and there aren’t going to be a lot of these comics finding their way into the hands of new readers. It smack of very low buy-in from the retail community.” [Indignant Online]
Welcome to a special Super Bowl Sunday edition of What Are You Reading? Not that it’s any different from a regular WAYR column, but you can enjoy it while eating hot wings while the TV is paused.
Today our special guest is biology professor Jay Hosler, creator of Clan Apis and Optical Allusions. His latest book, Evolution, with artists Kevin Cannon and Zandor Cannon, was recently released by Hill & Wang. Check out his blog for a story he’s working on about photosynthesis.
To see what Jay and the Robot 6 gang are reading, click below.
After months of teases, Marvel has officially announced a new imprint, CrossGen, as well as the first two titles and their creative teams.
Ruse #1 by Mark Waid and Mirco Pierfederici, with a cover by Butch Guice and Mike Perkins, debuts in March. Waid and Guice worked on Ruse back when it was published by the original CrossGen circa 2001. Joining Ruse is Sigil, written by Mike Carey and drawn by Leonard Kirk. Both are four-issue miniseries.
“SIGIL is epic fantasy on a colossal scale, ultimately spanning the whole of human history,” Carey told Marvel.com. “It tells the story of a young girl who has inherited a unique talent and destiny from her dead mother and has also been enlisted without her knowledge or understanding in a war that spans all of space and time. The amazing Leonard Kirk is our [artist], so when I throw around all these adjectives about huge scope and epic scale, you know I’m not kidding.”
“Simon [may be] the world’s greatest detective, but he’s overlooking a mystery that’s right under his nose: the secret that Emma is keeping would floor him,” Waid told the site. “Together, they solve impossible crimes in a series that’s a little Fantastic Four, a little Sherlock Holmes, and a lot of mystery. This may be the most fun I’ve ever had writing.”
Founded in 1998 by Florida entrepreneur Mark Alessi, CrossGen featured a line of titles in a variety of genres with a shared universe, or “Sigilverse,” with characters broadly linked by the Sigils they received. The first wave of comics launched in 2000 with Sigil, the fantasies Meridian, Mystic and Scion, and the “untold tales” anthology CrossGen Chronicles. Later additions included the Victorian detective series Ruse, the contemporary horror Route 666, the pirate adventure El Cazador, the fantasy Sojourn and the wuxia comedy Way of the Rat. CrossGen filed for bankruptcy in 2004. Later that same year, Disney bought the company’s assets for $1 million. Marvel began teasing the return of CrossGen last summer at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Activision sent out a brief press release today announcing that X-Men: Legacy writer Mike Carey is writing the story for a video game called X-Men: Destiny. The details are fairly sparse at this point, but the game will allow you to play “as new mutant recruits in a rich, branching storyline that features a deep element of choice and gives players ultimate control of their destiny.” Huh, maybe it’s akin to Dragon Age or Mass Effect, but with superheroes? That actually sounds very cool.
Here’s the press release:
A new breed of mutant heroes will invade game consoles next fall in X-Men(TM): Destiny, from Marvel(TM) Entertainment and Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI). The all-new original video game casts players as new mutant recruits in a rich, branching storyline that features a deep element of choice and gives players ultimate control of their destiny. Attendees of New York Comic-Con, which is going on now through October 10, can get a sneak peek of the game in Activision’s booth #1833. In addition, fans can learn more about the original storyline which is being penned by acclaimed Marvel X-Men: Legacy writer Mike Carey, during the Marvel Games Panel on Saturday, October 9, at 10:45 a.m. in Room 1A06.
For more information on X-Men: Destiny tune in to IGN.com on Thursday, October 7, as well as the game’s official website at www.XMenDestiny.com. More news will also be shared with the Hero HQ community on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/heroHQ.