Legal | Former comics retailer Michael George has lost his appeal for a new trial. He was convicted twice for the 1990 murder of his wife, first in 2008 and then in a 2011 retrial. George is serving life in prison without parole. [The Macomb Daily]
Creators | John Sutter profiles Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, whose hands were broken by government troops in an (unsuccessful) attempt to keep him from ever drawing again. [CNN]
Creators | Michael Diana, the first artist in the United States to be convicted of obscenity (for his comic Boiled Angel), returns to Miami after more than 20 years for a show of his work at the Miami Art Museum — which paid his remaining fines so he could enter the state without risk of arrest. [Miami New Times]
Digital comics | Moulinsart, the company that holds the rights to Herge’s works, has released the complete Tintin comics in digital form. The iOS app is free, and it looks like the comics are $5.99 each, which is pretty reasonable. The catch is that they are all in the original French; it doesn’t appear as if translations are available yet. [Idboox]
Passings | Filipino komiks creator Jesse Santos died April 27 at the age of 83. Santos began his career in 1946 as an artist for the first serialized comic in the Philippines, Halakhak, and moved to the U.S. in the 1960s. He drew the sword-and-sorcery character Dragar the Invincible and took over from Dan Spiegle as artist for The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor. [Komikero Dot Com]
Free Comic Book Day is once again upon us, the day that current and hopefully potential comic fans flock to their local comic shop to sample a buffet of comic choices from publishers large and small. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into this time around, from previews of new or upcoming stuff — like Marble Season and Superman: The Last Son of Krypton #1 to first issues of brand new comics — like The Strangers #1 and Aphrodite IX #1. There are original comics, licensed comics, kids comics, anthologies … basically something for everyone.
Some retailers will offer all-you-can-eat options, while others might have limits on what you can get … so if you have to make a choice, here are six comics we’re particularly looking to sink our teeth into.
Here’s an announcement you don’t see very often — a price drop. Action Lab Entertainment, publishers of Princeless, NFL RushZone and the upcoming Molly Danger series, announced at C2E2 this weekend that they plan to drop prices on all their ongoing series later this year.
Starting with the titles in June’s Previews catalog, Action Lab’s ongoing, 32-page comics will drop from $3.99 to $2.99. The licensed NFL RushZone, which is 20 pages, will drop to $1.99 and come out twice monthly. This month sees the number of Action Lab’s ongoing titles almost double, as they launch several new mature readers comics under the Action Lab: Danger Zone imprint. These titles include Ehmm Theory, The Final Plague, Ghost Town and Night of the ’80s Undead.
Additionally, beginning with Jamal Igle’s Molly Danger in July, Action Lab will also offer “a number of 48 page oversized European style hardcovers at $19.99,” according to the press release.
The snow is piled high where I am, and May seems like a long time away, but the Free Comic Book Day folks are getting into the spirit by posting some free previews (or “prevues,” as they spell it, since these are Previews prevues). The selection includes Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, a Molly Danger comic by Jamal Igle that will be bundled with a Princeless story by Jeremy Whitley, Atomic Robo, 2000AD, Brian Wood’s Star Wars, and more.
As in previous years, the FCBD website is also running a series of creator interviews. These aren’t particularly deep; all the creators get the same set of softball questions (actual question, I kid you not: “Tell us why everyone should read comic books?”) but some of them, like Fred Van Lente, go beyond “Comics are AWESOME!!!!!” and have a bit of fun with it. Recent interviews worth a glance include Cory Godbey, who is working on an adaptation of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth; Emmanuel Guibert and Mark Boutvant on Ariol; and Robert Venditti on X-O Manowar. It’s all nakedly promotional, but it’s promoting comics after all, and there is some good stuff in there, both in the responses and the art samples.
Fresh off the success of the creator-owned series PrinceLess by Jeremy Whitley, the enterprising Pittsburgh-based publisher Action Lab Entertainment is expanding — by teaming up with the fellow indie publisher Super Real Graphics.
Action Lab announced Monday it’s merging with Super Real, and that the latter’s founder Jason Martin will come on board Action Lab to spearhead a new mature readers line called Danger Zone. Action Lab has been a quick riser in comics, with PrinceLess making a name for itself and garnering an Eisner nomination along the way, and industry veterans like Jamal Igle choosing the company to publish creator-owned work. But Action Lab has up until now been strictly focused on all-ages material, so this announcement of a mature readers line is a big jump for the small publisher.
According to the press release, Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint already has several titles lined up, including a book by Tony Fleecs and Tone Rodriguez called American Gothic Chick.
As part of the merger with Super Real, that company’s titles such as Zombie Tramp and Super Real will be be re-issued and potentially expanded upon at Action Lab.
Seven months after announcing the end of his exclusive contract with DC Comics, fan-favorite artist Jamal Igle is venturing into his own all-ages adventure series he’s hoping to fund through Kickstarter.
Called Molly Danger, the four-volume hardcover story follows “the world’s most powerful 10-year-old girl,” who’s protected the city of Coopersville for the past 20 years, but longs for a real life with a real family. Things change when D.A.R.T. (The Danger Action Response Team), an organization created to assist and monitor Molly, recruits a new pilot named Austin Brigg,s who hopes to impress his stepson, a fan of Molly Danger.
“As the father of a young girl, I’ve found myself disheartened that there isn’t a female superhero character for my daughter to read that hasn’t been turned into a killer, or overtly sexualized,” Igle said in a press release. “A character that isn’t joined at the hip to a male hero or subservient to one.”
Igle, best known for his work on DC’s Supergirl and Firestorm, will kick off the 30-day Kickstarter campaign Aug. 1, with a fund-raising goal of $45,000. Action Lab Entertainment, which publishes Princeless, will handle release and distribution of Molly Danger. Igle’s also created a teaser trailer (below) and production blog.