With Saturday sold out, and wireless providers taxed to the limit — thank you, Twitter and live-blogging — it’s no surprise that the second day of New York Comic Con was brimming with publishing announcements:
• Marvel rolled out plans for expanded digital content, including an original Spider-Woman motion comic — billed as the publisher’s first “all-new in-continuity” work using motion-comics technology — written by Brian Michael Bendis and directed by Alex Maleev, a motion-comics adaptation of Astonishing X-Men #1-10, and a five-issue online series called Dark Reign: Made Men. (On Friday, Marvel announced the online-exclusive miniseries War of Kings: Warriors.)
• Marvel’s nine-year-old Ultimate imprint will be canceled and relaunched as Ultimate Comics, which will feature four series. The flagship title, renamed Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, will continue to be written by Bendis but will be illustrated by David Lafuente. Artist Stuart Immonen is moving to New Avengers.
Powers, the creator-owned series by Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, will relaunch with another Issue 1 under the Icon emblem.
• Yen Press has picked up the license to Kiyohiko Azuma’s popular slice-of-life comedy Yotsuba&!, which had withered at ADV Manga.
• Insanely popular webcomic Penny Arcade will move to Del Rey with Penny Arcade, The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade: The 11.5 Year Anniversary Edition, a 208-page hardcover edition set for release in February 2010. Dark Horse published the first Penny Arcade collection in 2006.
• DC Comics confirmed that writer Greg Rucka and artist J.H. Williams III will take over Detective Comics with Issue 854 for a run that stars, at least initially, Batwoman. Rucka said Williams will be on the title for “12 issues, guaranteed.”
The publisher also revealed the composition of the Bat-Family of titles in the wake of the “Battle for the Cowl” crossover: Detective, Batman, Batman and Robin, Batgirl, Batman: The Streets of Gotham, Red Robin, Outsiders, and Gotham City Sirens.
Someday soon I think Rick Remender will be writing every comic on the stand … case in point, this week we learned he’s got a new book coming out from Radical Comics called The Last Days of American Crime with artist artist Greg Tocchini.
“The Last Days of American Crime is a story I’ve been itching to scratch for a few years now,” Remender said in a press release from Radical. “Fans of my creator-owned books Fear Agent or XXXombies will be right at home with this one. And Greg Tocchini is a powerhouse, one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with, a true future superstar. Radical is a perfect home for the project, so I’m having a blast.”
Calvin Reid at Publisher’s Weekly talks to Radical Publishing about their publishing philosophy and their upcoming plans:
“We’re a publishing company on a broad scale,” said Levine during an interview in Manhattan. “It’s the easiest way to brand ourselves and control our properties. We offer great content with multiplatform opportunities. Our books can stand on their own, and the films help them appeal to another segment of the audience.” Levine, who is Radical’s president and publisher, called the house’s movie plans “marketing strategies” that are used to cross-promote the graphic novels.
In addition to movie versions of their Hercules, Caliber and Freedom Formula comics, the article also hits on their planned move into prose publishing:
In addition, the house is negotiating with New York trade houses to create prose novelizations of its comics, and Matt Fleckenstein, a writer on the animated TV hit Family Guy, is developing Animal Square as a kids’ book and animated film. And in 2009 the house will publish a series of lavishly illustrated prose novels (each with 30 to 45 pages of artwork), developed by pairing writers from its comics list (“comic book writers are all frustrated novelists,” said Berger) with artists from the Storm Lion manga studio.
That last quote was surely said in jest, right?
With the New York Comic Con coming up in a few short weeks, we’ll be collecting and posting information on the various things you can do and see while at the show. So this will be the first of many.
If you’re a publisher, creator, retailer or otherwise exhibiting at the show, feel free to drop me an email with your booth schedule, any comics you might be debuting, giveaways or any other information on what you have planned for the show.
• The Hero Initiative, the non-profit that provides a financial “safety net” for creators, will have George Perez at the booth (#1762) all weekend long.
They’re also hosting an art auction Saturday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room 1A14:
Join Hero Initiative Chairman George Pérez for a GREAT art auction benefiting The Hero Initiative! Over 40 killer pieces are up for auction, including works from Joe Quesada, George Pérez, Darwyn Cooke, Jae Lee, John Romita Sr. and Jr., Steve Rude, Jim Starlin and ALL the Image Comics founders! Not to be missed!
They also plan to host a kickoff party Thursday night in conjunction with Reed Exhibits at Dave and Busters in Time Square, with additional details to be announced.