X-POSITION: Phoenix, Upstarts & More Tear Up Bowers & Sims' "X-Men '92"
Conventions | After bringing in a profit of almost $1 million in 2014, Wizard World took a hard swing in the other direction last year with a loss of $4.3 million, with about half the shortfall coming in the fourth quarter. At least part of the reason seems to be simple math: Per-show revenues were down, costs were up. In addition, Wizard’s share in ConTV was a money-loser, to the tune of $1.3 million; Wizard has reduced its stake in the joint venture with Cinedigm. On the upside, its subscription box service has done well, netting $48,000. It’s possible that the North American convention market is being saturated, and Wizard is responding by cutting back from 25 shows in 2015 to 19 this year. [ICv2]
Comics | Writer Kurtis Wiebe announced that, “after long consideration,” he’s placing his acclaimed Image Comics fantasy series Rat Queens on hiatus. [Twitter]
To commemorate the inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con, Mythbusters alum Adam Savage decided he’d go incognito as Hellboy, in a nod to his first appearance at Comic-Con International. But while he dressed as the movie Hellboy in 2008, this time he paid tribute to Mike Mignola’s original version.
Of course, Savage has a few advantages over the average cosplayer: In addition to his background as a model maker, he owns several pieces from Guillermo del Toro’s films, including the Samaritan, a duster jacket and one of Hellboy’s tail.
Adam Savage isn’t “just” a model maker, an educator and the former co-host of Mythbusters. He’s also a huge fan of Hellboy — he even owns of the Samaritan props used in Guillermo del Toro’s films. Looking to expand his arsenal of Mike Mignola-inspired weaponry, Savage sets out to create a replica sword (and skewered demon) based on the cover of Hellboy: Odd Jobs in a new installment of “One Day Builds.”
Mondo, which earlier this year celebrated Mike Mignola’s signature creation with a “First Hellboy” statue, has now introduced a 1/6th-scale baby Hellboy action figure.
Developed with Mignola himself, the figure boasts six points of articulation and, as Mondo says, “the cutest lil face Hell ever spawned.” Standing (or, rather, crouching) about 4 inches tall, the figure is available in two varieties: the $37 regular version, and the $40 Mondo exclusive, which comes with a removable Crown of the Apocalypse.
The iTunes’ Terms and Conditions agreement has got to be the least-read-yet-most-signed contract in human history. For pages and pages (and a nearly limitless downward digital scroll), it enumerates Apple’s latest subtle shifts in policy regarding the ways we purchase, license and “own” music and media acquired through the most influential online marketplace to date. Who reads those things? Who could even pretend to? Can one even imagine a more arduous task than going through that document, line by line, and trying to parse what exactly it is we are all signing on for?
But ah, the magic of comics. Cartoonist R. Sikoryak, whose work has appeared in Drawn and Quarterly and The New Yorker, is publishing his painstakingly thorough, unabridged graphic adaptation of the iTunes Terms and Conditions agreement on Tumblr. This version of the contract is no mere dry rendering of legalese — instead, Sikoryak has transformed the document into a showcase of styles from talent all across the history of comics, making each page an experiment in the diverse visual language of the medium’s most beloved luminaries.
Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles honors a modern master of horror and coolness with “Guillermo Del Toro: In Service Of Monsters,” featuring artwork by a variety of creators that pays tribute to films like Hellboy, Pacific Rim and Pan’s Labyrinth.
The impressive collection includes everything from artwork to sculptures to a Hellboy teddy bear. Contributors include Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Joey Weiser, John Rozum and many more.
Check out a few pieces below, then visit the Gallery 1988 site to see them all.
It would be an exaggeration to say Dark Horse saved this 22-year-old Aliens one-shot from obscurity by re-publishing it in a slick, if slim, new hardcover, although it’s tempting to do so, if only for the play on words.
In reality, re-releasing Aliens: Salvation in this nice, standalone, bookshelf-ready format probably has as much to do with putting out one more book with Mike Mignola’s name on the spine as making sure that one of the better-looking, more idiosyncratically designed Aliens tie-ins is readily available.
The fact that it’s back in print and on shelves this week is more important than the how and why of it, though.
It’s penciled by Mignola, who also drew the original cover as well as what appears to be a new one (in his current, even more stripped-down style), from a script by Dave Gibbons. It’s inked by Kevin Nowlan, colored by Matt Hollingsworth and lettered by Clem Robins.
On the heels of its First Turtle Figure, Mondo has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive first look at its First Hellboy statue, based on Mike Mignola’s original 1991 convention illustration of a demon. While the character that debuted some two years later bears little resemblance to that figure, Mignola apparently knew he was onto something with the name on the belt buckle: “Hellboy.”
Mondo’s 12-inch statue showcases many of the details of that 24-year-old drawing, from the fish and crab dangling from Hellboy’s belt to the vulture perching on his wings to the demon’s body hair. Mignola’s longtime collaborator Dave Stewart was also recruited to devise the color scheme.
Although Regaliceratops peterhewski likely didn’t possess a Right Hand of Doom or a fondness for pancakes and cigars, paleontologists had a devil of a time excavating the 600-pound fossil skull, earning it the nickname “Hellboy.”
According to National Geographic, it was only afterward that researchers made the connection between the many-horned dinosaur — it’s a close relative of the Triceratops — and Mike Mignola’s famed demonic hero.
Manga | The first printing of One Piece, Vol. 77, may have dropped below 4 million, but its sales aren’t slacking. According to Japanese market research firm, the latest volume of Eiichiro Oda’s hit manga has sold nearly 1.67 million copies since its release on Friday, more than seven times that of the No. 2 title on the weekly sales chart, the 67th volume of Tite Kubo’s Bleach. That’s marks a new weekly sales record for the year, surpassing the 67th volume of One Piece, which sold 1.6 million copies upon its release in January. [Crunchyroll]
Moleskine has arrived in Gotham City with a collection of limited-edition Batman notebooks, debuting today.
Produced in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the series features four notebooks with cover art by John Cassaday, Mike Mignola and Jim Lee. A fifth with art by Frank Miller from The Dark Knight Returns on its cover and flyleaves will be available in a numbered run of 5,000 exclusively from Moleskine’s website and stores. All of the notebooks come with limited-edition Batman stickers.
There’s a mountain of comic book projects that were solicited, advertised and told that never saw the light of day, and now we have one more lost treasure to add to that list: a Final Fantasy series by Kurt Busiek, Del Barras and Mike Mignola.
Commissioned by the defunct Disney imprint Hollywood Comics, the story was to be a four-issue adaptation of the video game Final Fantasy IV (released in 1991 in North America as Final Fantasy II). Busiek got the job by pitching an original story set in the Final Fantasy universe, with publisher Square (now Square Enix) then shifting him over to the adaptation of the then-forthcoming video game.
After revisiting Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell’s 2002 collaboration last year with a new edition of Murder Mysteries, Dark Horse plans to return to the material — and so much more — with a gallery edition designed to fully showcase the illustrator’s work.
Set for release in October, P. Craig Russell’s Murder Mysteries and Other Stories: Gallery Edition will feature high-quality scans of his original art, printed at art-board size.
“What keeps this industry alive is creators doing their own work. Once you change a costume or origin enough times, it’s a dead body — you’re just electrocuting it and keeping it sort of shambling on. There is a lot more creator-owned stuff now, and some of it I look at and go, ‘Oh, that’s his pitch for a TV show. That’s his pitch for a movie. That’s him saying oh, this kind of thing sells.’ I didn’t do that. My one piece of advice to people who are saying “‘I wanna do it, but DC and Marvel pay so well …’ is that in between your big paying gigs, just find time just to do one comic! It doesn’t have to be a 6,000-page epic! It doesn’t have to be Hellboy! Ten years down the road, when you’re scrambling for work or drawing some book you hate, at least you did something when you had fire in your belly that’s really you.”
Conventions | It looks as if Wizard World’s convention won’t be returning to San Antonio, Texas, in 2015. A Wizard World spokesman said the company couldn’t come up with a date that fit the schedule of the city’s Henry B. Gomez Convention Center, adding, “We hope to revisit the possibility for 2016.” However, reporter Rene Guzman notes that San Antonio’s Alamo City Comic Con was a much bigger deal this year, in terms of the exhibit floor (it took up three exhibit halls of the convention center, compared to Wizards’ one) and probably attendance as well: Wizard World said its inaugural event in August drew “thousands,” and Alamo City had 73,000 attendees, almost twice as many as last year. There will be a Wizard World Austin conventionn in 2015, so anyone wanting a taste of that Wizard magic can find it a short road trip away. [San Antonio Express News]