INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
The San Diego Comic-Con kicks off with a preview night on July 20, then runs July 21-24. If you are a comics creator or publisher, and you’re planning to bring something new to the con — a sketchbook, a print, a graphic novel debut, anything! — then we want to hear from you. Drop me an email (before Wednesday!) and let me know if you’ll have something cool on hand that attendees should know about. Feel free to send any artwork as well.
In addition to the portfolio of DC relaunch covers I mentioned this past week, Graphitti Designs will also sell a variant cover edition of Flashpoint #1 at their booth during the show.
Comic-Con International in San Diego kicks off Wednesday night, July 21 and runs through July 25.
• Artist Cully Hamner wasn’t originally listed as appearing on the Red movie panel on Thursday, despite the fact that he drew the limited series, but it looks like everything’s been worked out and he will indeed be there. Here’s his full schedule.
• BOOM! Studios will host their annual party on Thursday night at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Odysea Bar, starting at 9 p.m. The BOOM! Studios Five-Year Anniversary Drink Up will feature Mark Waid, Ross Richie, Matt Gagnon, Chip Mosher and the rest of the BOOM! crew with various BOOM! creators in attendance “for a night of relaxed fun.” No RSVP or tickets are required.
And speaking of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, I received an email from them about their Comic-Con plans as well:
“Odysea Lounge at Hilton San Diego Bayfront hopes you will make us your ‘Con Bar’ this July. We welcome all attendees of Comic-Con International to indulge in our fresh, hand-muddled cocktails and our dazzling bay front views. Come order right from your seat from one of our brand new iPads and enjoy Happy Hour daily, 4P-6P and 10P-12A. Our staff is ready to serve you throughout Comic-Con and look forward to making this year a memorable one.”
• Radical Publishing has released their booth schedule, which will include signings by Jimmy Palmiotti, Wesley Snipes, Peter Milligan, Paul Gulacy, Sam Worthington, Rick Remender and many more.
• Kurt Busiek shares his schedule for the con, as well as some thoughts on the Westboro Baptist Church picket that Kevin mentioned last week. He says the best way to respond is to ignore them, then adds, “But on Twitter last night, among the suggestions for counter-statements against the WBC’s rallying cry of ‘God Hates Fags,’ this lovely response came up, coined by Lori Matsumoto and designed by Dane Ault.” Check out the image up top to see the suggested response.
• Which reminds me, Andy Mangels sent word about the 23rd annual Gays in Comics panel and a mixer/silent auction, both on Saturday at the show:
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What about when those pictures are juxtaposed with words — specifically the words of Incarnate creator Nick Simmons? And what if those words are denying that the pictures, which pretty clearly show that he plagiarized Tite Kubo’s hit manga Bleach, do any such thing? That’s worth an awful lot, as far as I’m concerned. At Topless Robot, Rob Bricken mashes up Simmons’ non-apology apology with the pictorial evidence to absolutely brutal effect. In a controversy that’s generated more than its fair share of memorable online commentary, this McCloudian approach has generated my favorite yet.
Incarnate creator Nick Simmons has responded to widespread accusations that he plagiarized Bleach and other popular manga, saying that “certain similarities” were “simply meant as an homage to artists I respect.”
Radical Publishing last week stopped production on the collection of Simmons’ three-issue miniseries amid growing claims he had copied panel compositions, character designs, dialogue and plot elements from eight manga, including One Piece, Hellsing, Vampire Hunter D and Bleach.
In a statement issued by Simmons’ representative and posted on Comics Worth Reading, the 21-year-old artist said: “Like most artists I am inspired by work I admire. There are certain similarities between some of my work and the work of others. This was simply meant as an homage to artists I respect, and I definitely want to apologize to any Manga fans or fellow Manga artists who feel I went too far. My inspirations reflect the fact that certain fundamental imagery is common to all Manga. This is the nature of the medium. I am a big fan of Bleach, as well as other Manga titles. And I am certainly sorry if anyone was offended or upset by what they perceive to be the similarity between my work and the work of artists that I admire and who inspire me.”
A representative for Radical Publishing verified the statement comes from Simmons, son of KISS frontman and reality-TV star Gene Simmons.
Incarnate debuted in August with heavy promotional support from Radical and A&E TV, the network that airs Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels. The comic is showcased on the show’s webpage and sold through its online store.
The plagiarism allegations emerged early last week, igniting discussions — and art comparisons — on countless blogs, message boards and fan sites, with a Facebook group going so far as to call for legal action against Simmons. However, when alerted to the accusations via Twitter, Bleach creator Tite Kubo seemed more amused than anything: “I’m more interested in the fact that Gene Simmons’ son is a mangaka than whether he’s plagiarizing me or not.”
Radical Publishing has stopped production of its comic Incarnate while it investigates growing accusations that creator Nick Simmons plagiarized Bleach and other popular manga series.
The allegations against Simmons, son of KISS frontman and reality-TV star Gene Simmons, emerged at the beginning of the week on the GameFAQ forum before gaining steam Wednesday on fan sites and LiveJournal. The latter link presents perhaps the best visual support for the Bleach claims.
The Wikipedia entry for Nick Simmons now includes a section detailing “Accusations of Plagiarism” that lists eight manga — the insanely popular Hellsing, One Piece and Vampire Hunter D, among them — and an amateur artist from DeviantART. There are assertions that, in addition to panel compositions, character designs and poses, Simmons lifted dialogue and “plot segments” from other works. A group calling for legal action against the 21-year-old Simmons has begun on Facebook, where some members have declared today “Bleach Protection Day.”
Radical Comics sent over word that they will host the father-and-son duo of Gene and Nick Simmons at the San Diego Comic Con later this month. Nick is the creator, writer and artist of Radical’s Incarnate, the first issue of which premieres at the con. Gene, of course, is Gene Simmons, KISS founder and merchandising legend.
Radical is also hosting an event at the Hard Rock Cafe with the pair — “an exclusive invitation-only rock concert extravaganza promoting the release of Nick Simmons’ first comic book title Incarnate. The event will feature live performances by Gene and Nick Simmons as well as a surprise performance from some very special guests.”
The event will be filmed by A&E TV, who will also be filming around Radical booth #3735, and will air during an episode of Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels. To win 2 free tickets to this event and be a part of the action, simply email email@example.com answering the simple question: “What is your favorite Radical Publishing character and why?”
Both Simmons will sign on July 23, July 24 and July 25 at the Radical Publishing booth. Nick Simmons will also appear at the Radical Publishing Creators Panel on Friday from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 4.
Industry | Sales at troubled Quebecor World, the largest printer of comics in North America, fell 25 percent in the first quarter of the year because of the recession. The company lost $125.9 million, which is still an improvement over the same period in 2008. [ICv2.com]
Publishing | According to a notice on the website of distributor Alini Magazine Services, Viz Media’s four-year-old Shojo Beat will end with the July issue. The magazine, which targets young women, had a monthly circulation of 38,000 in 2007. [Alini Magazine Services, via David Welsh]
Publishing | Papercutz has inked a deal to produce a line of graphic novels based on Disney Fairies, a popular property built around Tinker Bell that’s already staked a claim to chapter books, clothing, video games and toys. The publisher plans to release four titles a year beginning in April 2010. [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | David Wohl, former president and editor-in-chief of Top Cow Productions, has been named editor-in-chief of Radical Comics. He replaces Dave Elliott, who remains as special projects editor. Rich Johnston has more on the move. [Radical Comics]