Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Manga | Is former manga powerhouse Tokyopop coming back? Once the largest publisher of manga in North America, the company stopped publishing new manga in 2011, but didn’t go bankrupt and never really went away. Tokyopop is selling many of its “global manga” titles digitally and in print, on demand, and it ‘s planning panels at both Anime Expo in Los Angeles and Comic-Con International in San Diego. On his blog, CEO Stu Levy drops a few hints, saying he’s “rebuilding” Tokyopop. [Tokyopop]
Digital comics | Rob Salkowitz analyzes the latest news from Amazon and comiXology and suggests there’s more to the story than meets the eye. While fans may view the renewal of Marvel’s deal with comiXology as a story about a digital comics service, Salkowitz says it’s really about bringing comics to the mass market through Amazon: “Kindle isn’t Amazon’s platform for reaching comic book readers. It’s Amazon’s platform for reaching all readers. comiXology counts its revenues in millions. Amazon counts its revenues in billions. Moving these titles from a superior specialty app to an inferior mainstream app isn’t a big deal for existing fans but it’s a huge potential expansion of the market.” [ICv2]
One of the neat things about this upcoming Secret Wars mega-super-hyper-combo event is that a lot of cool projects are coming out of the woodwork — not just to support the unfolding crash of realities, but to sneak in some books that make entirely too much sense. While Battleworld rages on, it would be ridiculous not to have a cadre of teen heroes roaming the field and making their way in the mighty Marvel manner. Since the Secret Wars themselves are happening to create a universal order on a massive scale and enforcing a set universe out of countless others, it makes sense that someone (or someones) are going to want to rebel against that universal order. Thus, the Runaways.
Note: Due to some unforeseen transcription issues, the Steve Rude interview promised for this week won’t be published until next Friday.
Spanish artist David Lafuente is one of those creators who burst into the American comics scene like a shooting star, first glimmering with 2008’s Patsy Walker: Hellcat and then shining with blinding amount talent in 2009’s Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. After his run on that title ended in late 2010, Lafuente followed that with covers for various Marvel series and a brief run on a group of characters close to his heart, the New Mutants. Since then, new work released by this artist has primarily been online on his blog and his recently ended art blog group the Sindiecate. What has he been working on in this down time? Creator-owned comics.
When I reached out to Lafuente to do this interview, I hoped to find out more about his upcoming series Home Run with Jonathan Ross, but what I ended up with was that — and a whole lot more.
In what ended up being David’s most extensive interview ever, we talked about not one but three new creator-owned series he’s working on, as well as his reflections on his heady rise to fame at Marvel and how he isn’t done yet with the House of Ideas.
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that we don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Batwoman is still awesome!” every month. And we’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
One cool change this month and for the foreseeable future: I’m joined by Graeme McMillan who’ll also be pointing out his favorites.
Finally, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist – I admit, I tend to run hot and cold on Clowes’ output, but I’m a sucker for coffee-table career retrospectives, so the idea of taking 224 pages to look back at his career to date (with, of course, the traditional little-seen artwork and commentary) seems like a must-look at the very least. [Graeme]
Rachel Rising, Volume 1: The Shadow of Death – Terry Moore’s latest series gets its first collection and I love the premise of a woman’s waking up in a shallow grave with no memory of how she got there and needing to figure out who tried to kill to her. [Michael]
I linked to Ilias Kyriazis’ image of his favorite DC characters earlier this month, and as we wait patiently for the Marvel version he mentioned he’s starting, here’s something to enjoy in the meantime: Kyriazis imagines what the Avengers might look like 15 years from now.
The line-up includes several kids of current and former Avengers, like Luna Maximoff, Valeria Richards and Danielle Cage, all grown up and following in the footsteps of their parents. They’re joined by a few wild cards like Molly Hayes and Quentin Quire. If you head over to his blog, he shares the background of each character and why he chose their respective looks.
It looks like Marvel alum artist Takeshi Miyazawa is returning to his family’s roots. The Toronto-born artist moved back to his family’s native Japan several years ago where Miyazawa has been working diligently to break into the manga industry. After years of hard work — he’s done it, and on Feb. 26 denizens of Japan can buy Miyazawa’s manga debut Lost Planet: Bound Raven.
For years Miyazawa worked as an artist for Marvel Comics, drawing Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Uncanny X-Men and Runaways amongst other minis and guest issues. The artist’s last major work in American comics was 2009’s Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #8.
There’s no word yet on any American publishers securing the rights for Miyazawa’s manga, but here’s to hoping!
Retailing | Laura Hudson surveys a handful of retailers about what part higher cover prices may have played in August’s plummeting comics sales. “This summer has underperformed, and I think [the $3.99 price point] is a big part of it,” says Chris Rosa of Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, “but also I think the lack of an event and the fact that the big books at both [companies] are extended denouements to events. There’s nothing really inspiring people to run out to the stores. People are tired of buying four Avengers titles at $3.99 a pop.” [Comics Alliance]
Publishing | Tom Mason looks at the return of Atlas Comics: “If you were 13 years-old in 1975 when the original books were out, you’d be 48 today. In other words, the age of the average direct market fanboy. But in order for these new books to succeed, they’d have to appeal beyond nostalgia because with most Marvel and DC comics at $4.00 a pop, you’ve got to have something special and excellent to lure some of those buyers into your own circus tent.” [Comix 411]
To make its latest creative-team announcement, Marvel Comics turned to television — specifically, G4’s Attack of the Show.
In yesterday’s episode, host Blair Butler announced that writer Kathryn Immonen (Patsy Walker: Helcat) and artist Sara Pichelli (NYX) will pick up Runaways after Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos end their run in April. David Lafuente (Ultimate Spider-Man) will provide the covers.
Butler showed glimpses of art from the premiere issue and teased, “Marvel promises that one Runaway will die in the new story arc, and one might live again.”
Presumably the new team debuts with Issue 11, whose creative lineup and content is listed as “classified” in the solicitations for June.
You can watch Butler’s “Fresh Ink” segment after the break.