A few years back, to celebrate the WWE’s annual Wrestlemania event, I reached out to several comic folks who I knew were wrestling fans to get their predictions on how the matches would go. It was a lot of fun; so much fun that apparently I let three years go by before doing it again (in my defense, I had a baby somewhere in those three years, so … yeah).
In any event, this year I got my act together enough to reach out to some of my Robot 6 colleagues, as well as several members of the comics community, to once against ask: Rock or Cena? Brock or Triple H? Undertaker or Punk? Scholars or Funk? Our panel shared their thoughts, opinions, hopes and dreams for tomorrow’s big pay-per-view event.
Retailing | Rumors have begun to swirl that online retail giant Amazon plans to open a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle within the next few months to help gauge the profitability of a chain. The store reportedly won’t just sell e-readers and tablets, but also books from Amazon’s newly launched publishing division. [Good E-Reader, Gawker]
Publishing | Japanese publisher Shueisha Inc. released the 65th volume of Eiichiro Oda’s pirate manga One Piece last week with a first printing of 4 million copies, tying the record set in November by the previous volume. [The Mainichi Daily News]
Retailing | Howard Ackler writes about the final days of Dragon Lady Comics, the Toronto retailer that closed last week after 33 years in business. [National Post]
The fine folks at WeLoveFine.com T-shirts are holding a design-a-shirt contest in honor of the Avengers hitting movie screens later this year, and they’re giving away all sorts of cash prizes for the winners.
All designs must include the “big four” who appear in the movie–Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man–while Hawkeye, Black Widow and Loki can be used at the designer’s discretion. You also can’t use the Avengers logo or any likeness that looks like the actors from the film. Ryan Penagos, a.k.a. Marvel’s Agent M, will judge the contest with an as-yet-unnamed second judge.
A full run-down of the rules and prizes is available on the contest page. Submissions must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Feb. 12. Artists can submit up to five designs, and the contest is open to U.S. residents only.
[Note: this post was assembled by both Tim O'Shea and JK Parkin]
This is our final post for our big birthday bash, and what a post it is. No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we have in past years, we have asked various comics folks what they are excited about for 2012 in comics–something they aren’t working on and something they are.
There’s a lot of great stuff here–hints at new projects and even some downright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded!
I’m most anticipating the 30th Anniversary of HEROES CON (June 22-24, Charlotte, NC) . For any convention 30 years is an amazing run, but the fact that Shelton Drum and his extended family have put this show together every year with nothing but blood, sweat and tears is flat out super heroic.
On the personal front, the challenging and exhilarating ride that’s been Loose Ends will come to a close with issue 4. It’ll be bittersweet to send our child off to into the real world but I can’t wait for you guys to see the work Brunner & Renzi are doing.
I’m also super excited to dip my own toes into the Mignola-verse with the BPRD: The Pickens County Horror [March 28, 2012] and to read the end of Jason Aaron & RM Guera’s Scalped, which is my favorite series in years.
This sounds politic, but it’s genuine: what excites me about comics in 2012 is what’s exciting every year, the work of the talent. Seeing what the best are up to and how the up-n-comers have grown as artists and writers. In the new year, I’m also excited about illustrating several books and covers that feature my favorite Avengers.
The Digital Age has washed over comics in the past few years the same way it hit the music and film industry years before. And no one at the major comics publishing houses have taken to it more, seemingly, than Ryan Penagos.
Penagos, who many know by the moniker of “Agent M,” works as editor of Marvel’s website, coordinating its content and direction as well as monitoring the company’s reach through social networking. When he started, the site was merely a portal of press releases for the print books, but in the four years he’s been with the company it has expanded to be a hub of information for all things Marvel, with interviews, features, artwork, databases and — most importantly — comics. But this probably isn’t how you know him.
Penagos has developed quite a fanbase on Twitter as @Agent_M, accumulating 1.4 million followers — keep in mind that Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada has just 22,000 and writer Brian Michael Bendis has 28,000. He gets his thoughts out there with Twitter, his Marvel blog and an after-hours Tumblr blog.
Full disclosure: Penagos is one of my editors in the writing I do for Marvel.
Chris Arrant: You’ve long been part of the online world, going back to generating ideas for Wizard magazine’s website when you worked there from ’03 to ’06. Now as editor in charge of Marvel.com, you’re continuing that. What do you think are the big things you’ve learned about writing for the internet audience instead of the print audience?
Behold the might and the meowjesty of Katie Cook and Chris Eliopoulos‘s Marvel cats. So far the pair has done Catlactus (Devourer of Yarn), Cat-man America, Spider-Kitty, Doop Kitty, and M.O.D.O.C. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Cuteness). Nerd Internet, I think you’re done for the day. See them all on Agent M’s tumblr.
Brian Michael Bendis! At least according to Samuel Rules of Are You a Serious Comic Book Reader? In a post stuffed with evidentiary linkage, Sammy proclaims “No one used Twitter better in 2009 than Bendis,” citing the Siege writer’s honesty and humor, as well as the “little insights into his life” he provided. “I used to talk a lot of trash on him,” Sammy recalls — “Upon discovering his Twitter, however, I started to understand him as a person, and then kinda wanted to hang out with him.”
Which got me thinking: Who would I proclaim comics’ Twitter-er…Twit…uh, Tweeter of the year?
Would I stick with Bendis, for his informative Q&A alone?
Michael Kupperman, for a consistently hilarious feed that’s like reading Tales Designed to Thrizzle in pictureless 140-character snippets?
Paul Pope, for his philosophical musings?
Ryan “Agent M” Penagos, for having more followers than the rest of the comics industry combined?
But then I remembered the one man whose Twitter account impacted my life, or at least the blogging side of it, more than anyone else. For my money, no one tops the ever-interesting, refreshingly candid Tom Brevoort. Why, just the other day he took to his feed to breathe a sigh of relief about Captain America: Reborn finishing before The Flash: Rebirth as he predicted, size up his chances regarding Siege finishing before Blackest Night, criticize Rebirth artist Ethan Van Sciver for drawing convention commissions while his book is delayed, and defend Reborn artist Bryan Hitch from accusations of habitual lateness. Can you imagine if everyone in comics were that forthright? I can, and it looks like heaven from here. Tweetin’ Tom Brevoort, we salute you!