Publishing | IDW’s Chief Operating Officer Greg Goldstein attributes a bump in the company’s September sales to several factors, including DC’s big relaunch: “The reality is the DC New 52 brought some people into comic book stores that hadn’t been in comic stores for a while, and we had the opportunity to sell them some of our books as well as the other books that are available to them. But clearly, people who had not been focused on comics came out of the woodwork a bit.” It didn’t hurt that IDW had its own launches of properties familiar to those outside of comics, including the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, an ongoing Star Trek series and the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover. [ICv2]
Legal | A Belgian judicial adviser has recommended that the nation’s courts reject a four-year-old bid by a Congolese student to have Herge’s 1931 Tintin in the Congo banned, or at least restricted, because of its racist depictions. The recommendation is being viewed as a major setback for the case, as the opinion of the Procureur du Roi (Senior Crown prosecutor) is requested and typically followed by the court. [The Guardian]
On the heels of Brett Booth’s teaser for Teen Titans #1 arrives this slick and creepy trailer for Justice League Dark #1 from series artist Mikel Janin. Written by Peter Milligan, the title brings together Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine to battle face the dark forces unleashed by The Enchantress.
Justice League Dark #1, which features a cover by Ryan Sook, arrives on Sept. 28.
(via DC Women Kicking Ass)
Although it seems like DC’s big relaunch announcement came out an eternity ago, it actually took the publisher less than two weeks to roll out the 52 titles and their creative teams for the big relaunch/reboot/overhaul coming in September. Now that the cats are out of their respective bags, I thought I’d see where various creators and characters will land after the reboot.
So I went back through DC’s August solicitations to see who was writing or drawing what, and tried to map everyone to their post-relaunch project — if they had one. However, looking at DC’s August solicitations, there seem to be several fill-in issues, so where appropriate I tried to map the most recent ongoing creative teams to their new projects (for instance, I consider Gail Simone and Jesus Saiz the regular creative team for Birds of Prey, even if they aren’t doing the last two issues before September hits). Keep in mind that I just went through the ongoing series and skipped over all the miniseries … of which there are a lot, what with Flashpoint winding up in August.
It’s also worth noting that although several creators didn’t appear in the “big 52″ announcements, that doesn’t mean their tenure with DC is necessarily over — some, like Frazer Irving, have said they have future projects that haven’t been announced. So I tried to note where creators have talked publicly about their post-relaunch plans with DC (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The same could probably be said for some of DC’s characters as well. Or, as Gail Simone said on Twitter: “Again, September is NOT THE END. There’s still plans for characters that we haven’t seen yet.”
So let’s get to it ….
1. For Batman and Green Lantern, if it ain’t broke, DC’s not fixing it. In 2010, you had to go all the way down to the Direct Markets #109 bestelling title, the debut of J. Michael Straczynski’s abortive tenure on Superman, before hitting a DC book that wasn’t part of the Batman line, the Green Lantern line, or the Green Lantern-spawned Blackest Night and Brightest Day events. DC has rewarded the creators behind these franchises’ success by keeping them more or less in place, albeit with some title-swapping and artist-shuffling. Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard, and Peter J. Tomasi are still writing the three main Green Lantern series (along with the previously announced Peter Milligan on Red Lantern), while Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, David Finch, and Tomasi are still handling the books with “Batman” in the title (with long-time Gotham Citizens like J.H Williams III, Gail Simone, and Judd Winick filling out the line).
2. DC’s rolling the dice big-time on an I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vertigo-verse. Today’s big announcement of new “dark” titles features such Vertigo characters as Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Shade the Changing Man, John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, as written by such Vertigo creators Peter Milligan (Hellblazer), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), and Scott Snyder (American Vampire). That’s quite a vote of confidence in Vertigo’s taste in creators, characters, and tone, especially given that many industry observers saw the line as an afterthought for the new regime. Of course, how this will impact Vertigo itself has yet to be seen. It’s also worth considering that Vertigo’s biggest and most durable hits over the past decade or so have tended to be creator-owned titles existing in their own worlds and straying pretty far from the imprint’s horror-magic roots, so launching eight shared-universe horror-magic books — over one-sixth of the new DC Universe line — is a gamble in and of itself.
The cover, above, is by Paul Pope, and as previously reported, the first issue will include a chapter of Spaceman by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, which will get its own series from Vertigo in the fall. Other contributors include Jeff Lemire, Ross Campbell, Kevin Colden, Peter Milligan, Paul Cornell, Denys Cowan and many others. You can find the complete table of contents after the jump.
Per Comic Vine, the anthology will feature eight 10-page science fiction short stories by folks like Peter Milligan and Scott Snyder. On Twitter, Jeff Lemire has revealed he’s doing a story about Ultra the Multi-Alien (who appears on Mark Buckingham’s variant cover above).
Check out Lemire’s Ultra after the jump.
Wow, DC Comics has returned from the holiday break with a vengeance. On its multiple blogs and here on CBR, the publisher has unleashed a veritable avalanche of announcements and initiatives for 2011.
Topping the list is the announcement, first mentioned by DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson and then expanded upon by Jim Lee, that DC will be holding the $2.99 price point across its line for all standard format ongoing series from both the DC Universe and Vertigo.
Meanwhile, PR guru David Hyde unveiled the return of letters pages to DC’s comics, presumably in the place of the current DC Nation column. Letters will be collected from both snail-mail submissions and messages submitted to the publisher’s new DCLettersPage.com website.
Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if they only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.
Check out Diamond’s full release list if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15, at least $9 of it – okay, $8.98 – would be already spoken for. The first issue of Batman Incorporated ($3.99) and one-shot lead-in Batman: The Return #1 ($4.99) offer up the first glimpses of what Grant Morrison has in mind for his new Batus-quo and, after the way he brought the RIP/Return of Bruce Wayne storyline to a close, I’m pretty much on board no matter what. The remaining money…? It’s a tough one, but I’m going to go for Spider-Girl #1 ($3.99), pretty much because I like Paul Tobin’s writing, I like the Twitter gimmick (Somewhere, Joe Casey’s going “I did it first in Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance!” and I know, Joe), and, most importantly, the Spider-Girl short was my favorite part of last week’s Amazing Spider-Man relaunch issue. Who could’ve seen that coming?
Following last month’s announcement that they’re planning to release older material under the “Vertigo Resurrected” banner, DC’s Vertigo imprint announced today that Peter Milligan and Ted McKeever’s 1993 miniseries The Extremist will return to print in November. Unlike the first Vertigo Resurrected title — Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez’s “Shoot” that was originally intended to be published as Hellblazer #141 — The Extremist was published, but I don’t think it has ever been collected in trade paperback form.
According to the Graphic Content blog, the book is about “three ordinary people who succumb to the allure of a mask and a costume and all the power that comes with it, creating a shocking and controversial exploration of the nature of freedom and sexuality.” Greg Burgas at Comics Should Be Good! has a great overview of the series here.
Even though we live in a golden age of reprints, there are still deserving comics that, for one reason or another, fail to get collected, translated, or reprinted in nice, shiny, new books. This monthly column is dedicated to those books that, we feel, need another round in the spotlight.
The welcome return of artist Brendan McCarthy to the world of comical books with Spider-Man: Fever got me thinking about how most of the comics he’s done (mostly with Collect This Now’s patron saint Peter Milligan) are sadly out of print. That’s a shame, as his bibliography contains a lot of great work that deserves re-examination, including Rogan Gosh, Paradax and the topic of today’s column, Skin.
One of the more interesting things about Skin actually is that it had a bit of trouble getting published initially. Originally Skin was supposed to be published in 1990 in Crisis, a spin-off of the classic British anthology series 2000 AD. The printers refused to handle it, and the publisher got cold feet, and it didn’t end up seeing the light of day until 1992, when Kevin Eastman’s Tundra press released it with little fanfare.
What made so many of these fine folks reluctant to print the comic? Well, for one thing, it could have been the subject matter. You see, Skin is about a Thalidomide baby. More specifically, it’s about a Thalidomide kid who’s a skinhead, has sex with hippies and eventually ends up getting revenge on the people who made the drug by going after them with an ax. (oops, spoilers!)
CBR posted some of Marvel’s advance solicits for next March, and it looks like we’ve all got a good reason to buy multiple copies of Nation X #4 … the return of Doop! The little green guy is front and center on the cover for the book, and the creative team for the anthology series lists both Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, who introduced us to Doop during their wild ride on X-Force and X-Statix. Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one.
Welcome to Collect This Now, a weekly (or, if I’m hungover, semi-weekly) column where we look at good comics that for whatever reason have never been translated, archived or just collected into trade paperback.
Back in Vertigo’s heady days of the mid-1990s, when Sandman ruled the roost and a comic would be canceled if it hit below the $3,000 mark, writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix, The Programme) was the line’s go-to guy. At least that’s how it seemed at the time, since his name appeared what must have been weekly on one of their comics covers, be it a mini-series, regular monthly or one-shot. Continue Reading »