Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Comic-Con International kicked into full gear Friday in a bustling second day that was capped off last night with the presentation of the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Here’s the highlights of the announcements emerging from the second day — and a few holdovers from the first day — of the San Diego convention:
• During its annual “Cup O’ Joe” panel, Marvel teased post-Avengers Vs. X-Men plans that include: A+X, described as “the opposite of [AvX: VS],” by such creators as Jeph Loeb, Dan Slott, Dale Keown and Ron Garney; Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences, a five-issue miniseries written by Kieron Gillen that addresses the effects of the summer crossover; Marvel NOW! Point One, featuring Nick Fury Jr.; and an October one-shot called Avengers Vs. X-Men: Babies, by Skottie Young.
• After initially dismissing Kickstarter as a potential source of money for the stalled Goon animated movie, creator Eric Powell teased he plans to launch a campaign on the crowd-funding website.
Oni Press announced Friday at Comic-Con International that it will publish print collections of popular webcomics Diesel Sweeties and Double Fine Action Comics, and teased new online projects by Jamie S. Rich and Natalie Nourigat, and Ananth Panagariya and Tessa Stone.
In April, Scott C’s long-running Double Fine Action Comics, which follows the adventures of the Two-Headed Baby, Knight and Muscleman, will receive a new edition of its scarce 2008 volume, followed by new-to-print volumes 2 and 3. “I am getting super pumped about Oni Press, you guys,” Scott C. said in a statement. “I think Oni Press and the Double Fine Action Comics will make an incredibly powerful team worthy of any battle against anything.”
The publisher also will collect R. Stevens’ beloved Diesel Sweeties in a series of volumes based not on when they appeared during the comic’s 12-year run, but rather by subject matter and sensibilities. The first themed collection will debut next summer.
With wins in three categories each, writer Mark Waid and Archaia Entertainment’s Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand led the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, presented last night in San Diego as part of Comic-Con International.
Waid received awards for Best Writer, and Marvel’s Daredevil, by he and artists Paolo Rivera and Joe Rivera, earned nods for Best Single Issue and Best Continuing Series, while Tale of Sand won Best Graphic Album-New, Best Publication Design and Best Penciller/Inker for Ramón K. Pérez.
See the complete list of winners below:
Best Short Story
“The Seventh,” by Darwyn Cooke, in Richard Stark’s Parker: The Martini Edition (IDW)
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Daredevil #7, by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Best Continuing Series
Daredevil, by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera (Marvel)
Best Limited Series
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)
Only a day after confirming the inclusion of Cyborg and Nightwing,Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have released a new full-length Comic-Con International trailer for Injustice: Gods Among Us, the fighting game being developed by NetherRealm Studios — the studio behind Mortal Kombat.
Scheduled for release next year, Injustice: Gods Among Us features a large cast of DC Comics characters, from Batman and Wonder Woman to Harley Quinn and Solomon Grundy, in a world where the lines between good and evil are blurred. Comic-Con attendees have a chance to try their hand at the game this weekend at the DC Entertainment booth (#1915).
After revealing plans for adaptations of the popular video games Squids and Temple Run, Ape Entertainment has announced a deal with developer Halfbrick Studios to publish digital comics and graphic novels based on Fruit Ninja.
In the game, which has been downloaded more than 300 million times since its debut in April 2010, players slice fruit with a blade they control with a touch pad. According to Ape, the comics will explore the “yet untold backstory of the juicy Fruit Ninja universe and its new colorful characters.”
“A key goal for Halfbrick is to bring our content to even more fans around the world,” Halfbrick’s Phil Larsen. “By expanding the Fruit Ninja universe with new stories, characters and adventures, Halfbrick and Ape Comics are free to explore an unlimited number of creative opportunities for comics and take the brand in even more exciting directions.”
Ape has already met with great success with its adaptations of the games Pocket God — the first issue alone has sold 200,000 copies – and Cut the Rope.
Loath as I am to follow up my piece on Joel Meadows’ Tripwire crowd-sourcing with such a similar story, but personal favorite Ben Caldwell has announced a Kickstarter campaign of his own for his full-color sketchbook The Dare Detectives: The Misfits Manual. Announcing it during his stay-over at Comic-Con International in San Diego is either a stroke of genius or utter folly, depending on how reliable the wifi connection is for the punters in West Harbor Drive this weekend.
Here are some previews images — I love the Hewlett-iness of The Pods:
Archaia Entertainment has confirmed it’s partnering with Japan’s Ishimori Productions to publish a Western re-imagining of Shotaro Ishinomori’s classic sci-fi manga Cyborg 009.
Set to debut in 2013 digitally and in print, the hardcover graphic novel written by F.J. DeSanto (The Spirit, Immortals: Gods and Heroes) and Bradley Cramp (Gattaca) and illustrated by Marcus To (Red Robin, The Huntress) will feature the classic characters and origin, “re-imagined for a new worldwide audience.”
Debuting in 1964 in Weekly Shonen King, Ishinomori’s Cyborg 009 follows nine humans kidnapped to undergo experiments by the evil Black Ghost organization that transform the test subjects into living weapons. The nine cyborgs band together to rebel against their captors and stop Black Ghost from plunging the world into a perpetual state of war.
“On the surface, Cyborg 009 appears to be a science fiction action/adventure story,” DeSanto said in a statement. “However, Ishinomori’s creation has endured because it’s a story about the human spirit triumphing over incredible adversity. The sort of emotional trauma these nine people experience could happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Instead of becoming dark and oppressive, the story evolves into a message of hope and cooperation between people of different countries and races who share the singular goal of bringing peace to the planet. Humanity is the heart and soul of Cyborg 009.”
• Top Shelf Productions is celebrating its 15th year at the convention with Cyber-Con, featuring digital editions of such new releases as The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire, American Elf 1999 by James Kochalka, and The Lovely Horrible Stuff by Eddie Campbell, and discounts on digital comics by creators appearing at Comic-Con. You can see the full list on the Top Shelf website; the sale ends Sunday.
• Fantagraphics, meanwhile, is holding its second annual Can’t-Make-It-to-Comic-Con Sale, offering buyers a coupon code that will score them 20 percent off everything on the publisher’s website, and 50 percent off its “biggest and heaviest books.” The deal ends Sunday.
• And comiXology is offering its own Comic-Con special, with a half-price sale on digital editions of IDW Publishing’s Godzilla comics.
Ahead of tonight’s presentation at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Wired has unveiled a clip from Comics in Focus: The Image Revolution, the documentary chronicling the rise and influence of Image Comics produced by the team behind Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods and Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts.
Funded in part through Kickstarter, the documentary from director Patrick Meaney, Sequart and Respect! Films traces the 20-year history of Image, “from its founders’ work at Marvel, through Image’s early days, the ups and downs of the ’90s, and the publisher’s new generation of properties like The Walking Dead.”
“And I have said over and over and over, and I will continue to say it to this day,” Image co-founder Todd McFarlane says in the clip (below). “That the writers cannot duplicate and replicate what we did because the writers are incapable of doing one thing that we did: Stop writing for fuckin’ Marvel and DC, and you will succeed.”
Meaney and producer Jordan Rennert will offer a look at the documentary tonight at 8 at Comic-Con. That’s followed Sunday by Image Comics’ 20th anniversary panel, featuring founders Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino, Whilce Portacio and Erik Larsen, and current partner Robert Kirkman.
Yes, it’s that time of year again! Comic-Con International starts today with a special preview night, and then formally kicks off Thursday.
If you have a badge, consider yourself lucky: They sold out within an hour and a half months ago. While there were three chances to buy returned badges, they’re now all gone. There are no on-site passes available for walk-ups, and badges are assigned to specific names and require photo ID to enter, so scalping or cheating your way in isn’t easy. That means, as has been the case for years now, if you don’t have a badge at this point, you’re not going.
By now, most people who follow some level of entertainment news know about Comic-Con. Because of yearly buzz, plenty of Southern California locals want to go at least once, just to check it out. Like Coachella or Burning Man, Comic-Con has become a cultural curiosity to just experience.
Within this curiosity is a hotbed of potential new readers. But just as Coachella tickets now sell out a year in advance, before a line-up is even announced, so too is Comic-Con an impossible ticket for the casual fan.
Rock band Coldplay and Bongo Comics have teamed up to tell the story of Mylo Xyloto, the title character from their fifth studio album that was released last October. While the six-issue series doesn’t officially come out until next February, Bongo will have the first issue available at Comic-Con International this week with a variant cover.
The story of Mylo Xyloto was conceived and written by Coldplay alongside Academy Award-nominated writer and director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie). The band posted on their website:
3 years ago we had an idea with our friend mark osborne about a character called mylo xyloto (“xylo” as in xylophone, “to” as in toe). gradually mylo’s story and universe came together and this ended up providing the backdrop for the album and tour. now we’re proud to announce that early next year the story’s going to come out as a 6-part comic. and to kick things off mark’s going to be holding a panel at comic con in san diego this week. so if you’re there you can ask him ‘who’s major minus?’ and ‘what the hell’s the hypnofeed all about?’ we hope you like it. it was fun making it.
Check out the cover after the jump.
KISS frontman, reality star and licensing entrepreneur Gene Simmons is no stranger to comics, having fought Doctor Doom and teamed up with Howard the Duck back in the 1970s. More recently, the band has appeared in comics published by IDW Publishing and Archie.
USA Today reports that Arcana will have 200 copies of his new Simmons Comics Anthology book at Comic-Con International, where Simmons will be “on hand to debut exclusive art and talk to fans about the three properties that are the beginning of his comic-book universe.” The anthology reprints the first issues of Zipper, a “leather-clad reluctant hero;” Dominatrix, a “CIA meets T&A” heroine; and a Gene Simmons House of Horrors tale. According to a press release, it also includes the first chapter of the all-new crossover event, “The Slave Trade,” where Zipper and Dominatrix will face off against each other.
Simmons says the plan is to release the comics bi-monthly, and, of course, to license and merchandise them into T-shirts, Bobbleheads and more. Simmons will be doing a book signing on Friday, July 13 at 2 p.m. at Arcana Comics Booth #2415. Fans will get the chance to meet Gene and get their photo taken with real-life versions of Dominatrix and Zipper.
Nine Marvel series will end in October even as the publisher debuts Uncanny Avengers #1, the first title in its sweeping Marvel NOW! initiative.
According to Marvel’s October solicitations, which went live this morning, the month will mark the conclusions of Captain America, Fantastic Four, FF, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man, New Mutants, The Mighty Thor, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men Legacy.
Naturally, some of those aren’t entirely unexpected, as the new Uncanny Avengers, by Rick Remender and John Cassaday, will be joined in November by All-New X-Men, by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen, followed by Avengers, by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena, in December and New Avengers, by Hickman and Steve Epting, in January. Likewise, Ed Brubaker revealed two weeks ago that he’s ending his acclaimed seven-year-run on Captain America, a departure that dovetails nicely into Marvel’s relaunch plans.
However, what will replace such mainstay titles as Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man and The Mighty Thor, and when, remains to be seen. Although it’s unlikely the publisher will go too long without versions of those comics on the shelves, Marvel has promised a slow rollout of relaunches between October and February.
Ape Entertainment, which has already released a massively successful comic based on the successful Pocket God video game, is now setting its sights on Squids, the role-playing game from French developer The Game Bakers. The licensing agreement calls for digital comics and graphic novels.
Debuting in October 2011 for iOS devices, the turn-based combat game features anthropomorphic squids attempting to defeat aquatic enemies encroaching upon their underwater kingdom. A sequel, Squids: Wild West, was released this summer.
“In terms of graphics and storytelling, the SQUIDS games already have a lot in common with comics, so continuing and expanding the adventure in comic books is a natural step,” The Game Bakers COO Audrey Leprince said in a statement.. “Ape Entertainment has a proven track record within the comics industry and we’re excited to partner with them to bring our hungry fans more of the SQUIDS stories they love.”
Ape plans to release the Squid comics in print and through a standalone app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
The must-have accessory for Comic-Con International is back with the announcement that, for the third consecutive year, Warner Bros. will hand out more than 130,000 oversized tote bags to convention attendees. Okay, “oversized” may be a bit of an understatement, as the messenger-style bags are 24 inches and 29 inches — roomy enough to haul swag back to the hotel As room each day — and include a protective pocket to hold any posters.
As usual, the totes are emblazoned with Warner Bros. properties with a Comic-Con presence: This year, it’s Arrow, DC Nation, Man of Steel, Fringe, Pacific Rim, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and The Big Bang Theory.
Last year’s bags included a design promoting DC’ Comics’ relaunched Justice League, but this year it’s all about television and film. Alas, it looks like the studio is holding out for the big reveals of the two movies; all of the other bags can be seen below.
Comic-Con kicks off Wednesday with Preview Night.