INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
Like most pop-culture conventions, New York Comic Con has a fairly extensive weapons policy — one that prohibits the obvious, like functional firearms (yes, BB and air soft guns are included) and, perhaps, the not so obvious.
Under the heading of “obvious” also falls firecrackers and fireworks, chemical weapons, any kind realistic firearm that could be mistaken for a real one, sharpened metal-bladed weapons, brass knuckles and the like. Less obvious, and sure to complicate more than a few cosplay plans, are functional longbows and crossbows, clubs, water guns, nunchaku, whips, and “hard prop weapons” made of metal, fiberglass and glass.
Here we go again.
According to a distributor listing for June 2015 (are we really looking that far ahead now?), James Robinson and Leonard Kirk’s current run on Marvel’s Fantastic Four will be released in a collection called Fantastic Four Vol. 4: The End is Fourever that includes a “Triple Sized Final Issue 645″. Sighted today at New York Comic Con during a retailer presentation was a big logo for the James Bond-esque title, but there was little other information. Maybe we’ll get an announcement while you’re reading this article, so follow CBR’s comprehensive coverage of NYCC (cheap plug)!
There have been rumors about Marvel ending the Fantastic Four (and possibly the X-Men) to spite Fox, which owns the film rights to both properties effectively in perpetuity, but that seems petty. Who opens a comic and asks, “I wonder what this licensing property will do this week?” We read comics for the stories, characters and creators; corporate politics is probably the last thing fans want to think about while (hopefully) enjoying the latest issue. And people are still opening up new issues of Fantastic Four, as the book’s sales are pretty steadily in the 28,000 range these past two months. Not Batman numbers, but still …
To celebrate New York Comic con, Marvel is once again offering access to its massive digital archive for a discounted price.
Through Oct. 16, you can buy a one-year membership to Marvel Unlimited Plus for $69, a savings of $30. Just go to the Marvel Unlimited website, and use the promo code “SAVE30″ at checkout.
When Marvel’s new Secret Wars series hits next year, one of the biggest secrets may be who exactly is in this comic.
Since the publisher released a high-res version of Alex Ross’ promotional painting for the Jonathan Hickman/Esad Ribic event this morning, fans have been spotting a number of left-field additions to the fray – some which barely qualify as Z-listers.
In addition to modern Marvel mainstays like the new female Thor, Sam Wilson as Captain America and the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales, the image also includes a variety of alternate-universe combatants, including:
New York Comic Con producer ReedPOP, which just last month expanded to India, is now setting its sights on France.
The division of Reed Exhibitions kicked off its New York show today with the announcement of Paris Comic Con, set for Oct. 23-25, 2015, at the Grande Halle de la Villette. A partnership with Reed France and Japan Expo organizer JTS Group, it marks ReedPOP’s first European event.
ReedPOP, whose stable of events includes Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, PAX and Star Wars Celebration, has been expanding its international presence with the addition of the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, Australia’s Oz Comic Con, PAX Australia and Star Wars Celebration Europe.
The first cities and dates have been revealed for The Marvel Experience, billed as “a first-of-its-kind, hyper-reality attraction.”
At a press conference held today at the Marvel booth at New York Comic Con, producer Hero Ventures announced the tour will hold previews Dec. 12-Jan. 2 in Phoenix before staging its world premiere Jan. 9 in Dallas. From there, it will head to San Diego and San Francisco before moving to the East Coast. Additional stops will be announced later; the tour will remain in each city for about three weeks.
The publisher’s IDW Limited program, which produces small print runs of deluxe editions, will also offer select collections geared to Disney devotees, while the fledgling Micro Comic Fun Packs line will market multiple properties to a mass audience, complete with minicomics, stickers and posters.
In addition, IDW’s celebrated Library of American Comics will collect the newspaper strips that have featured Disney characters (there’s a long line of them, dating to the early 1930s with Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphony and, toward the end of the decade, Donald Duck).
“There’s nothing quite like Disney,” IDW Publishing CEO Ted Adams said in a statement. “Despite the fact that nearly all of the titles in its library were originally intended for kids, adult collectors have long sought high quality and regularly published collections of classic Disney material. IDW is thrilled to present these beloved stories in quality packages for both entry level comics readers and serious collectors alike.”
The publisher also announced it has expanded its partnership with Marvel for its Artist’s Edition line, which already includes such collections as Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor, John Romita’s The Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1 & 2), Steranko: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Marvel Covers Artist’s Edition.
Speaking of Mondo, boutique mainstay Tom Whalen is exhibiting this week at New York Comic Con, where he’ll have for sale a selection of prints Batman ’66, the Universal Monsters series, The Incredibles, Ghostbusters and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. As if collectors need any incentive for buying the posters, Whalen is offering daily specials, which includes — on Thursday — a free Gotham Public Library card set with a purchase of $100 or more.
While I like Whalen’s design of the card, I appreciate his attention to detail even more: For instance, “S. Kyle” first checked out The Secret Lives of Cats on April 7, 1940, roughly corresponding to her first appearance in Batman #1; American Robins is borrowed by a succession of people — on the appropriate dates — ranging from D. Grayson to C. Kelly, and so on. He even includes Dewey Decimal classifications.
The owners of Metropolis Collectibles and ComicConnect, who in August paid a record $3.2 million for a pristine copy of Action Comics #1, will display “the Holy Grail of comic books” on Thursday at their New York Comic Con booth (#2630). Alas it’s only on Thursday.
The first comic to fetch more than $3 million at auction, the issue is one of just two copies of 1938’s Action Comics #1 — featuring the first appearance of Superman — to be graded 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company (the other is the comic once owned by actor Nicolas Cage, which sold in 2011 for a then-record $2.16 million; however, its pages aren’t considered “pristine”). Only about 30 unrestored copies of Action Comics #1 are thought to exist.
This copy was acquired several years ago in a private sale by Darren Adams of Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington, and stored a temperature-controlled vault. He said the original owner bought the comic from a newsstand in 1938, and then kept in a cedar box for about four decades until a local dealer in West Virginia purchased it in an estate sale. The issue then passed to a third person, who held onto it for 30 years. Adams said he turned down an offer of $3 million, and instead opted to sell the comic in a highly publicized eBay auction.
Legal | The Japanese publisher Square Enix has filed a counterclaim against SNK Playmore, asking Osaka District Court to rule that its manga Hi Score Girl doesn’t infringe on copyrights held by the video game company. Earlier this year, SNK brought criminal copyright violation charges against Square Enix after learning Hi Score Girl contains more than 100 unauthorized images of characters from SNK Playmore games. The manga has been put on hold because of the dispute. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | Who’s buying, and how much are they spending, at conventions? Rob Salkowitz mines the numbers from a recent Eventbrite poll of convention-goers to get some answers: Most people spend between $100 and $500 per person; cosplayers actually spend a bit more than average; and women shell out more money at conventions, while men spend more online. [ICv2]
Ahead of New York Comic Con, Action Lab Entertainment has announced it will publish Katie Cook’s popular webcomic Gronk: A Monster’s Story.
Debuting in 2010, Gronk centers on a young monster who turns her back on monster-kind (primarily because she’s too adorable to scare anyone) and moves in with her human friend Dale and her pets Kitty and Harli.
A Harvey Award nominee, Cook is widely known for her work on licensed properties like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and IDW Publishing’s popular My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comic series.
“I’ve been approached before about taking my self-published books to another publishing ‘level,'” Cook said in a statement, “but it’s ALE that, in the end, I trust to do it. It’s a team that is made up of some of the nicest people I’ve gotten to know in comics and they really are trying to put together something special. I am thrilled to put Gronk (and myself) in their lineup.”
Cook will exhibit as NYCC in Artists Alley (table C-1o), and will sign a limited-edition issue of Gronk Friday and Sunday at the Action Lab Entertainment booth (#3044).
Forsaking the sunshine of Florida for the cooler climate of New York, Captain Citrus is making the trip north this week for New York Comic Con.
You remember Captain Citrus, the weird, anthropomorphized orange that served put in three years as the mascot of the Florida Department of Citrus, which turned to Marvel Custom Solutions over the summer to give the character a $1 million makeover. Now he’s John Polk, a Florida orange grower who draws his power from … mysterious solar pods. It’s a little odd, sure, but nowhere near as weird as a giant orange that drinks orange juice.
Conventions | Ahead of New York Comic Con, George Gene Gustines shares producer Michael Uslan’s program from a 1964 comics gathering in New York City; it actually was released after the show, and includes some thoughts on how things could be improved, mainly by shifting the focus from buying and selling comics to bringing in creators so the fans could meet them personally. Nonetheless, Steve Ditko was there, and the list of registered participants included George R.R. Martin. [The New York Times]
Creators | Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talks about taking Sabrina the Teenage Witch to the dark side in her new series, a Riverdale horror story in the same vein as Afterlife With Archie. In this case, rather than zombies, Aguirre-Sacasa is drawing inspiration from the 1960s film Rosemary’s Baby. [Hero Complex]
Graphic novels | Although BookScan’s September list of the bestselling graphic novels in bookstores is populated largely by old stalwarts — The Walking Dead, Attack on Titan, Saga, Watchmen — Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1, the only Marvel title on the chart, clung to the Top 20 in its second month of release (although it slipped from No. 4. to No. 20). Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds, meanwhile, climbed in its third month to No. 6. One new manga debuted at No. 12: Noragami, about a homeless god who does odd jobs as he tries to build up his reputation; the anime is already out, which probably gave it a boost. [ICv2]
Publishing | A television reporter pays a visit to the Last Gasp offices to talk about the Kickstarter recently launched by the longtime publisher of underground comics (and other quirky books). It’s worth a look just to see the owner’s amazing collection of oddities. [NBC Bay Area]
Amy Reeder, who redesigned the Brooklyn Defender beer label for New York Comic Con, has revealed the signage she created to help promote the convention’s new zero-tolerance harassment policy.
“In addition to designing the Brooklyn Defender this year, NYCC asked me to illustrate something they can use for their anti-harassment signs around the convention floor,” Reeder, co-creator of Rocket Girl, writes on her blog. “The smart idea would probably have been to draw one character in my style, for recognition’s sake, but I had this idea in my head and really wanted to try something new. I wanted it to be modular, so they could change it and use bits as they like. And I wanted it to feel inclusive. No one wants to be harassed.”
The two projects meet in the image below, which includes a Brooklyn Defender cameo.