New York Comic Con
Legal | South African President Jacob Zuma has formally withdrawn his defamation lawsuit against cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (who goes by the pen name Zapiro) and will pay a portion of his court costs as well. Zuma dropped part of the case last week, a claim of 4 million rand for “impairment of dignity.” A spokesman for Zuma said the president had more important things on his mind and didn’t want to set a precedent that “may have the effect of limiting the public exercise of free speech.” [The Citizen]
Passings | The Catalan artist Jose Luis Ferrer, who signed himself simply “Ferrer,” died Monday of a brain tumor. Ferrer’s work appeared in 2000AD, Starlord and other British comics, but he was an international artist with work published in Germany, France, Sweden and the United States as well. [Down the Tubes]
Legal | The lawyer for Jack Kirby’s heirs asked the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to overturn a 2011 ruling that Marvel owns the copyrights to the characters the late artist co-created for the publisher, arguing that a federal judge misinterpreted the law. Attorney Marc Toberoff, who also represents the heirs of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in their fight against DC Comics, told a three-judge panel that a freelancer who gets paid only when a publisher likes his work is not, under copyright law, performing work for hire. Marvel countered that Stan Lee’s testimony established Kirby drew the contested works at the publisher’s behest; the Kirby family insists the lower court gave too much credence to Lee’s testimony. Kirby’s children filed 45 notices in 2009 in a bid to terminate their father’s assignment of copyright to characters ranging from the Fantastic Four and the Avengers to Thor and Iron Man under a provision of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act. However, in July 2011, a judge determined those comics created between 1958 and 1963 were work made for hire and therefore ineligible for copyright termination. [Law360.com]
Conventions | Jason Knize makes a case for New York Comic Con potentially becoming “the Comic Con” next year, surpassing Comic-Con International as the completion of renovations on the Jacob Javits Center frees up an additional 90,000 square feet of space. However, he notes that space and attendance — NYCC’s 116,000 this year versus CCI’s 130,000 or so — certainly aren’t the only determining factors. [Panels on Pages]
Comics | Don MacPherson, who’s a newspaper reporter as well as a comics blogger, ponders Clark Kent’s departure from The Daily Planet in this week’s Superman #13: “In the scene in which Clark issues his ideological proclamation, Perry White retorts, ‘Go easy on us mortals, Clark. Times are changing and print is a dying medium.’ The challenges the Planet faces in the story reflect not only real-world ones in the newspaper industry, but also those faced by DC Comics itself as it struggles to stave off ebbing readership and find a way to foster an audience for online comics. Digital-publishing initiatives in the world of comics aside, I feel it important to argue Perry is wrong. Print isn’t a dying medium. What’s dying are past business models.” [Eye on Comics]
A week or so ago saw a flurry of announcements coming out of New York Comic Con. But the deals we read about are only part of what’s going on at conventions. Last week I learned about a new project for early 2013 from David Liss, but, as I quickly realized in this interview with the writer, the early formation of Angelica Tomorrow, his collaboration with artist Allen Byrns (and published by 215 Ink) actually began at New York Comic Con 2011. As a fan of Liss’ recent work for Marvel (Black Panther: The Man Without Fear), it didn’t take a great deal of prodding to be interested in the upcoming six-issue miniseries, as I was already predisposed to be interested in “a paralyzed teenage alcoholic whose life is changed when he meets a charming amnesiac cyborg — who does not know that she was created to be a deadly assassin.”
Tim O’Shea: While many folks know you from your prose work and your great run on Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, this might be the first time people are hearing the name 215 Ink. What prompted you team with them for this project?
David Liss: I know a few guys who have published with 215 Ink, and I met Andrew DelQuadro, the company president, at NYCC last year. He was very enthusiastic about working together, and I loved the idea of being able to develop an original concept. The books I’ve done with Marvel and Dynamite have all been pulp titles — which is great, because I love pulp — but I wanted to try my hand at something entirely different. 215 Ink was willing to help me make it happen, so it was a great opportunity.
Conventions | John Giuffo does a compare-and-contrast between Comic-Con International and New York Comic Con. While San Diego has more Hollywood presence, NYCC has grown with stunning rapidity — it’s hard to believe that first event had just 25,000 people and shared the Javits Center with a travel convention; this year attendance was 116,000, gaining hard on San Diego’s 125,000. One key difference is that CCI spills out of the San Diego Convention Center into the surrounding neighborhood, which has restaurants and bars and parks, while the area around the Javits is pretty barren, limiting opportunities for parties or even a decent lunch, let alone the sort of outside activities that have sprung up in San Diego. [Forbes]
Legal | A Missouri man has pleaded guilty to federal obscenity charges stemming from comics depicting minors having sex with adults and other minors. The prosecutor has asked that he be sentenced to three years in federal prison without parole. [Anime News Network]
Comics | Johan Palme talks to Nathan Hamelberg of The Betweenship Group about the continuing controversy over a Swedish library’s decision to re-shelve some Tintin comics because of racist caricatures and colonialist attitudes. The books were put back following an uproar, but the move has sparked a larger conversation, and it even has its own hashtag, #tintingate. [The Guardian]
Conventions | Heidi MacDonald and the Publishers Weekly team (including Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson) post a comprehensive report on New York Comic Con, including debuts, new-title announcements, and a quick look at logistics. [Publishers Weekly Comics World]
Conventions | Dave Smith looks at one of the most vexing problems of New York Comic Con: the lack of decent wireless access, a situation troubling exhibitors and media alike. [International Business Times]
Conventions | Attendance at New York Comic Con was about 116,000, according to ReedPop Group Vice President Lance Fensterman, who talked about why lines were so long outside the Javits Center, the decision to put artists alley in the North Pavilion, and the problem of counterfeit badges. The construction at the Javits will be complete next year, opening up an additional 90,000 square feet for the event. [ICv2]
Conventions | Sam Thielman explores the way marketers use New York Comic Con to sell everything from video games to Craftsman tools. [Adweek]
Conventions | Scott Cacciola tags along after Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, a huge comics fan in both senses of the word, as he makes his way through NYCC, hangs out with DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, and checks out artists alley. [The Wall Street Journal]
After quietly announcing Offset Comics in July, Viking and NYC Mech writer Ivan Brandon further introduced the project at New York Comic Con, describing it to The Associated Press as a “giant, amorphous experiment” that approaches storytelling from a “100 percent creative declination.” That doesn’t exactly clear up the mystery, does it?
“I’m calling Offset a lab,” he tells Comics Alliance. “And what that means to me, anyway, is that it’s a series of experiments intended to try completely new routes in terms of story and in terms of who’s entertained by it. Comics has been for all of my life and most of its life defined by some very specific logistical parameters: pages are 6.875 inches by 10.437 inches based on bulk paper costs. Margins and trims are determined by the potential for printer error. Comics are expressed in eight-page increments, and so on. Offset is among other things an attempt to discard logistical motivation and be 100% creatively motivated. Not worrying what markets will support a thing or what demographic it speaks to or how economical anything is. The first experiment people will see from us is, obviously, a form of comics.”
The first three Offset projects are Brandon and Eric Canete’s Destroyer, exploring what happens after the end of the world, Daniel Krall’s Doublecross, about a man who held the shadows at bay until the shadows made him a better offer, and Brandon, Chuck BB and Ryan Browne’s Deathface, an homage to 1980s action heroes.
Passings | Golden Age creators Marcus “Marc” Swayze, best known for writing and drawing Fawcett’s Captain Marvel comics in the early 1940s, died Sunday in Monroe, Louisiana. He was 99. Swayze, who created Mary Marvel with writer Otto Binder, employed a simple style of illustration. “My personal philosophy was to use the art in storytelling so that even a child who couldn’t yet read could get a story out of it,” he told the Monroe News-Star in 2000. [The News-Star]
Legal | The Indian government has officially dropped sedition charges against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, but he still faces up to three years in prison if found guilty on the remaining charges under the Prevention of Insult to National Honor Act of 1971. Trivedi was arrested last month and briefly jailed before being released on bail. In an odd twist, Trivedi is currently participating in the reality show Bigg Boss, the Indian counterpart of Big Brother. [UPI.com]
While I was enjoying my time at APE up in San Francisco, the New York Comic Con was raging on with announcements and such. Before I get into a rundown of the comic-related news coming out of the East Coast today, let’s jump back to yesterday real quick so I can update one of the items from my Friday round-up. I mentioned that Dark Horse would publish a comic based on the upcoming video game The Last of Us, but I didn’t know at the time the most important part — the always awesome Faith Erin Hicks is co-writing AND drawing the comic. That’s a “Stop the presses” moment if I’ve ever seen one.
Ok, now on to Saturday …
• Apparently space is the place at NYCC … following DC’s announcement of Threshold yesterday, Marvel officially announced the return of two of their cosmic titles — Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova. Guardians, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Steve McNiven, comes out in February and apparently will feature Iron Man, or at least someone in his armor. Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness are the creative team for Nova, which features Sam Alexander, the Nova from Avengers vs. X-Men.
After a late afternoon opening to the general public on Thursday, the New York Comic Con kicked into high gear today with panels, announcements and the usual con craziness we’ve come to expect from big shows. Here’s a round-up of comic-related news and announcements coming out of Friday. If you missed anything from Thursday, I’ve also got your back. I’d also point you to Brigid Alverson’s rundown of the ICv2 sessions before NYCC that go deep on comic sales in 2011 and 2012 thus far, if you’re into that.
• Keith Giffen returns to the stars next year with Threshold, a new DC Comics series that features Blue Beetle, Space Ranger, Star Hawkins, the original Starfire and other space heroes, with a Larfleeze back-up. Giffen also seemingly confirmed that the current Blue Beetle series is coming to an end.
• Vertigo announced several new projects today, including The Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, Trillium by Jeff Lemire and an Unwrtten/Fables event that will see the Unwritten characters wander into the Fables comic. Snyder said that American Vampire will go on hiatus after issue #34 so he and artist Rafael Albuquerque can catch up on it. When it returns, it’ll jump ahead to the 1960s.
Nathan Edmondson has made a name for himself in recent years for his “spy-fi” books like Who is Jake Ellis?, The Activity and his brief run on DC’s Grifter. Now he’s playing with toys created by the ultimate spy guy, author Tom Clancy.
Ubisoft Entertainment SA announced this week that Edmondson and artist Marc Laming (Exile on the Planet of the Apes, American Century) will bring Clancy’s Splinter Cell video game franchise to the printed page.
The graphic novel, titled Splinter Cell: Echoes, will feature the game’s protagonist Sam Fisher, and bridge the gap between Splinter Cell: Blacklist and its predecessor, Splinter Cell: Conviction.
“Nathan Edmondson and Marc Laming are respected experts in their fields and we are so incredibly fortunate to have them on board for the Splinter Cell graphic novel,” said Patrick Redding, game director, Ubisoft Toronto, in a statement. “Nathan’s work in The Activity put him on our radar with its gripping balance between real-world geopolitics and high-tech spy fantasy themes we also explore in Splinter Cell. We’re confident that all readers — whether they’ve played every game in the series or are new to the franchise — are going to really engage with this story and the level of fine detail Nathan and Marc inject into their book.”
The book comes out next year. Check out the launch trailer after the jump.
Having worked on comics like Legion of Super-Heroes and Marvel’s Annihilation event, among many others, Keith Giffen knows cosmic stories. He’ll get to flex those star-spanning muscles once again with a new DC Comics series called Threshold.
The comic will feature two stories — the first, drawn by Tom Raney and titled “The Hunted,” will feature the Omega Men, Blue Beetle, Star Hawkins, the original Starfire, Space Ranger,Space Cabbie and a new Green Lantern named Jediah Caul. It spins out of the Giffen-written Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1, and Giffen said it was like “doing a science fiction version of Battle Royale and giving everyone a gun.”
“… these characters and concepts will bump up against the New Guardians characters in the annual,” Giffen told Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers. “So it’s a New Guardians story, but it will introduce readers to this concept. And then it spins out of the annual and the last issue of Blue Beetle. We’re trying to make Threshold a success and get as many eyes on this new ongoing series as possible.”
Batman and American Vampire writer Scott Snyder, who only yesterday confirmed his new Superman ongoing with Jim Lee, will reteam with his American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest collaborator Sean Murphy next year for a Vertigo miniseries called The Wake.
Announced today during the Vertigo panel at New York Comic Con, the underwater sci-fi epic uncovers suspense and horror beneath the ocean’s surface as “a discovery is made that will reveal a secret mythology.” Snyder promised sea monster and other creatures, adding, “Hopefully you guys will like it as much as we do!”
“I couldn’t be more excited about The Wake!” the writer told the Vertigo blog. “This is a story Sean and I have actually been developing together for more than a year, a big, twisted, sprawling science fiction and horror epic, all of which begins with a single, terrifying discovery at the bottom of the ocean. It’s one of the most ambitious stories I’ve ever done, and there’s no one I’d rather be creating it with than Sean Murphy.”
Murphy, who also illustrated Hellblazer: Survival of the Fittest and Joe the Barbarian for the imprint, wraps up his own Punk Rock Jesus miniseries in January. Read coverage of the full Vertigo panel at Comic Book Resources.
Oni Press brought guns, war and webcomics to New York Comic Con today, announcing a new graphic novel from Joe Harris and Adam Pollina, a Sixth Gun spinoff miniseries and the transformation of their website from “a marketing resource for its print titles into a full-fledged content hub with comic updates five days a week.”
Here’s a rundown of the announcements ….
Wars in Toyland by Joe Harris and Adam Pollina
From the Slingers (hey, remember Slingers?) team comes an oversized graphic novel “darkly inspired” by Babes in Toyland. Per the press release, “this new book looks at the once wondrous and beautiful Toyland after the rise of the teddy dictator, Roxbury. After Matthew’s brother and playmate, Alex, disappears, young Matthew finds himself carried into Toyland by his own loyal toy soldiers. Only Matthew soon learns that Alex has been here, too – and is now being held captive by Roxbury. Leading an attack on the teddy bear’s fortress, Matthew never considers that his brother might be beyond saving.”