(Please note: Clicking on just about any of the links in this post will take you directly to spoilers for Fantastic Four #600.)
This week saw Marvel revert back to the original numbering for their flagship title, Fantastic Four, as they released the 600th issue of the “World’s Greatest Comic Magazine.” The $7.99, 96-page comic contains five stories, all written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by a variety of artists, including Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ming Doyle, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Farel Dalrymple.
And just like they’ve done in the past, Marvel spoiled one of the plot points from the book in order to get mainstream media attention. One of the plot points, anyway; when Hickman was asked on Twitter about a particular article that contained a major spoiler, he replied, “… I haven’t read that article, so I’m not sure ‘which’ spoiler is being spoiled.” Yep, this comic book is just packed.
Here’s a sampling of what folks have been saying about Fantastic Four #600:
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 get one from almost every box–Image’s Invincible #85 ($2.99), DC’s DMZ #71 ($2.99), Marvel’s Wolverine and The X-Men #2 ($3.99) and independent title RASL #12 ($3.50). Not much to say about any of these I haven’t already said, except anytime Cory Walker draws a book I’d pay twice cover price.
If I had $30, I’d sneak out of Thanksgiving preparations to first get a book I was surprised I liked as much as I did, despite the last issue’s ending: Shade #2 (DC, $2.99). One thing I wasn’t amped to see was Deathstroke, but given James Robinson and Cully Hammer’s track record I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Next up would be the epic (in my mind, at least) team-up of Warren Ellis and Michael Lark on Secret Avengers #19 (Marvel, $3.99). Seeing Ellis boil down the concept into “Run the mission. Don’t get seen. Save the world.” Hits me right between the eyes, and this new issue’s preview has be salivating over it. Last up, I’d pay the giant size price tag for Fantastic Four #600 (Marvel, $7.99) although my patience has worn a little thin with ending the series then bringing it back for #600.
After two years of (almost) weekly adventures, the erstwhile astronauts Dan and Steve are ending their tour of duty in outer space as the long-running webcomic The Loneliest Astronauts finishes this week. Created by writer Kevin Church and artist Ming Doyle, it’s reminiscent of the recent flick Moon if written as a drunken comedy with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
Church is a longtime denizen of the comics Internet going back to the early comics blogosphere days, and for the past few years he’s quietly assembled his own line of webcomics illustrated by different artists under the banner AgreeableComics.com. He wrote a handful of printed comics for BOOM! Studios a few years back, but it’s this quiet armada of quirky webcomics for which becoming known.
In the case of his Loneliest Astronauts collaborator Doyle, she’s gone from an online indie darling (and Project: Rooftop regular) to getting mainstream Marvel attention with work in Girl Comics and the upcoming resumption of Fantastic Four.
With all 87 installments online for free, readers can check out the entire series, and wait for a possible print edition. Fans of the work can look forward next month to seeing Church and Doyle reunite to revive their Star Trek fan comic Boldly Gone.
New York may get the big shows, but Boston has a vibrant local comics scene and is building up a nice slate of events throughout the year. Boston Comic Con was like a teeny-tiny version of NYCC, with name creators (Darwyn Cooke, Stan Sakai, Frank Quitely) chatting with dozens of fans in small conference rooms. MICE, the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, is like a mini-MoCCA, just one day long and featuring a number of talented creators. The lineup of exhibitors includes Box Brown, Kevin Church, Alexander Danner, Ming Doyle, Gareth Hinds, Dirk Tiede, and Tak Toyoshima, plus lots of people you never heard of who are quietly doing interesting, innovative work (that’s not a punt—I saw a lot of these people at BCC.)
The schedule includes lettering, coloring, and webcomics workshops and panel discussions on comics for children (featuring my Good Comics for Kids collaborator Robin Brenner), comics and social justice, comics and fashion, and more.
It all happens Saturday, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m., at Lesley University in Porter Square, Cambridge. Here’s an insider tip: It’s in the same building as a Japanese mall, which has lots of inexpensive noodle shops, one nicer fish restaurant, a bubble tea stand, and a lovely Japanese/French bakery, so plan to stay local for lunch. Admission to the show is free, and there’s plenty to see. I’m planning to make a day of it, and if you are in the Boston area, I’d highly recommend it.
There’s anthologies. Then there’s Womanthology.
Designed to showcase the works of female comic creators “of every age and experience level,” the short stories in Womanthology center around the theme “Heroic.” In addition to comics, the book will also have interviews and “how-to” tutorials by female creators to encourage the next generation of talent. All proceeds from the book will be donated to the charity Global Giving Foundation.
To bring this all together, the women behind Womanthology are turning to Kickstarter.com to raise money to print the book. With a release date tentatively set for December 2011, the Kickstarter campaign has already generated $18,000 of its $25,000 goal with just under a month to go.
The list of contributors reads like a who’s who of comic creators, including the likes of Ann Nocenti, Camille d’Errico, Ming Doyle, Colleen Doran, June Brigman, Fiona Staples, Barbara Kesel, Gail Simone, Trina Robbins and more.
Rather than try to write a summary of my HeroesCon 2011 experience, I have opted this year to share as many photos as possible. My camera was out-of-commission yesterday so all photos were taken during the second day of the show (Saturday).
Editor’s Note: With the recent discussions going on around the comics community about creator-owned comics, we’re pleased to welcome one of the voices in those discussions, 30 Days of Night and Mystery Society creator Steve Niles, to Robot 6 for a series of columns on creator-owned comics. A big thanks to Steve for agreeing to do the column, as well as to artist Stephanie Buscema for creating a killer image for it.
by Steve Niles
Welcome to the first installment of my new column, Creator-Owned Spotlight. I tried to think up an amusing title, but then decided to just settle on what it was: a spotlight on creator-owned comics, publishers and retailers who support the need for more creator-owned books.
I guess the first order of business is to define what I mean when I say “creator-owned comics.” I’m talking about ANY book where the creator has ANY ownership in their book. So basically, if you sign a work-for-hire agreement, you don’t generally have ownership. It doesn’t make those books bad, or the enemy, or anything like that. We’re just not talking about them here.
Why am I doing this? I’ve been called insane for wanting to promote my competitors’ work. All I have to say to that is: it isn’t a competition. And yes, I am crazy. I’ve drawn a line in the sand for myself to be positive. I hope you’ll try, too.
First up is such an obvious choice; I really don’t need to write much at all. His name is synonymous with creator-owned books, because he’s one of creator-owned comics’ greatest success stories. He’s also a friend and hero of mine.
Daria, the cult-hit MTV animated series that spun out of Beavis and Butt-Head, is maybe the most iconic look at disaffected ’90s high-schoolers this side of My So-Called Life, and it finally hit DVD this week. What better way to celebrate than checking out artist Ming Doyle’s gorgeous tribute to this joyous occasion, featuring Daria and Jane?