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SDCC’ 12 | A roundup of pre-con con news

Comic-Con International in San Diego may officially open today (last night was Preview Night), but the news has been rolling in for awhile. So let’s take a look at what’s been announced thus far.

• Of course you can’t have Comic-Con without news about Comic-Con itself. CBR’s Kiel Phegley spoke with CCI’s David Glanzer about the show, while Ryan Ingram spoke with Scott Morse about the Tr!ckster satellite event. And it seems like every non-comics media outlet reports on the show in some form or fashion; here’s an article by The Christian Post about religion and the show, for example. And finally, Tuesday brought the tragic news that a con attendee camping out for today’s Twilight panel was killed in front of the convention center after being struck by a car.

• I’m not 100 percent sure if it qualifies as Comic-Con news, but since it was officially announced in the Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con issue, let’s just go with it. Marvel’s big news going into the Con is that they plan to relaunch several titles later this year as part of “Marvel NOW!” Their recently released solicitations reveal they plan to cancel nine titles in October, but of course you can expect many if not all of them to come back in some form or fashion as Marvel NOW! rolls out.

• Mike Mignola and Hellboy return this December in Hellboy in Hell, the first four-issue miniseries in a series of miniseries about the title character’s post-demise adventures.

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SDCC ’12 | J. Michael Straczynski to relaunch ‘Joe’s Comics’ at Image Comics next spring

JMS

As a part of a “new media company” that will produce stories for movies, TV, digital series and more, J. Michael Straczynski will relaunch his “Joe’s Comics” imprint next spring at Image Comics.

As reported by Deadline, Straczynski will revive the imprint that Top Cow once published circa 2000-2004, which brought us Delicate Creatures, Midnight Nation and Rising Stars. The first four comics that will appear under the imprint include Falling Angel, Ten Grand, Guardians and Sidekick.

Joe’s Comics is one piece of Studio JMS, which has film and digital media projects in the works, including a film called The Flickering Light and a web series for MTV titled The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al. On the TV front, JMS has two projects in the works–Vlad Dracula for Starz and one called Epidemic.

“The center of the storm is what comes out of my keyboard,” he told Deadline. “It’s all about creating IP. For 20 years, I’ve had the remarkable good fortune to work successfully as a writer and producer in a wide variety of fields, from television to comics and movies. I’ve always dreamed of creating a mini-studio where I can put all of that work under one roof, telling stories that I want to tell and which can be spun up between various platforms: comics that can become TV shows, TV shows that can become movies, and movies that can become comics. With the tremendous recent success of films such as The Avengers, Thor and the Batman series of films, this feels like the best time to tackle that dream. Best of all, unlike many other start-up ventures, I’m not looking to get into these areas, I’m already working in them; now it’s just a matter of taking the next logical step: consolidation.”

SDCC ’12 | Jock’s The Dark Knight Rises con-exclusive poster

The Dark Knight Rises by Jock

Here’s one of the spoils of being lucky enough to land a ticket to Comic-Con this year–Mondo will sell this exclusive The Dark Knight Rises poster at their booth Thursday. Designed by Jock, it can only be purchases at booth #437, and to find out when excatly it’ll go on sale, you have to follow Mondo’s Twitter feed, @MondoNews.

The posters are limited in number to 375 and cost $50. No doubt they’ll be up on eBay sometime tomorrow for a lot more than that.

SDCC ’12 | Simpsons comics go digital with comiXology app

comiXology and Bongo Comics have announced plans to launch a Simpsons comics app during the Bongo panel Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The app will launch with 20 Simpsons comics, while a free copy of Simpsons Comics #100 will also be available for a short time at comiXology.com. The comics available at launch are:

Bart Simpson #1, 72
Bartman # 1, 2
Lisa Comics #1
Radioactive Man #8, 100
Simpsons Comics #1, 40, 87, 109, 131, 149, 175, 191
Simpsons One-Shot Wonders: Bart Simpson’s Pal Milhouse #1
Simpsons One-Shot Wonders: Ralph Wiggum Comics #1
Simpsons Summer Shindig #1
Simpsons Super Spectacular #1, 15

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SDCC ’12 | Frank Cho’s ‘Brandy in Space’ print

The cast of Frank Cho’s Liberty Meadows is ready for Comic-Con International in typical cheesecake fashion, as the crew sports the outfits of a certain popular science-fiction franchise from the 1960s.

“It was interesting to see all the details on the costumes and the props while studying the reference photos,” Cho wrote on his blog. “I couldn’t believe how simple and crude the captain’s chair was. I just cracked up looking at all the 1960’s beehive hair-dos on the female cast. Talk about walking down memory lane. Despite the shoe-string budget and the dated look, Star Trek still told great emotional and entertaining stories. And this print is my nod to that great classic show. Live Long and Prosper.”

Colored by Brandon Peterson, the print is limited to 250 copies and costs $20. It’s available at booth #4907, the Big Wow Art booth.

Keith Giffen takes over DC’s He-Man with Issue 2

He-Man #2

DC Comics today announced a fairly last-minute shuffle on its He-Man and the Masters of the Universe comic. According to The Source blog, Keith Giffen will take over writing duties from James Robinson starting with the very next issue, September’s #2.

“He-Man and friends were a big part of my son’s young life,” Giffen said. “That meant that they became a big part of my life too. I can still rattle off the plotlines to more than a few of the cartoons and am still pretty good at reattaching the arms and legs of woefully abused action figures. I’m thinking that more than qualifies me to write the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe comic book. Well… that and the fact that I so want to. I mean, c’mon… it’s He-Man!”

Robinson was solicited as the writer for issues 2 and 3, and in fact is still listed on the DC Comics website as the writer for both (as I type this, anyway). The post doesn’t mention why they’ve made the abrupt change. Robinson is in San Diego this week, so no doubt the question will be asked.

Robinson is certainly busy enough right now, what with Earth 2 and apparently some sort of Image series that will be announced on Saturday.

SDCC ’12 | MAC Cosmetics to launch Archie’s Girls makeup line

After partnering last year with DC Comics for a collection of Wonder Woman makeup — Themyscira mascara! Obey Me nail polish! — MAC Cosmetics is heading to Riverdale.

Archie Comics announced today that it’s teaming with the cosmetics giant to launch a line in spring 2013 called MAC Archie’s Girls that will “celebrate the iconic looks of Betty and Veronica.” Although fans will have to wait a while to get their hands on the products, MAC will be promoting the line Wednesday and Thursday in San Diego with an event at its Gaslamp Quarter store featuring Archie cartoonist Dan Parent. Apparently, you’ll be able to get a Betty- or Veronica-style makeover, and a sketch from Parent.

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SDCC ’12 | Exclusive first look at six new Love and Rockets 30th anniversary T-shirts

Love and Rockets is celebrating its 30th anniversary at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and to help fans mark the occasion in style, Fantagraphics partnered with Graphitti Designs to offer six new T-shirts featuring characters created by the legendary Hernandez Brothers. The shirts, which cost $18.99 each, can be found at the Fantagraphics booth (#1718-1722).

But wait, there’s more — Fantagraphics and the Hernandez Brothers also will debut three new books at the show. First up is the newest work by Gilbert and Jaime, Love & Rockets New Stories #5, featuring Gilbert’s return to Palomar and Jaime’s much-anticipated follow-up to “The Love Bunglers” (from #4). Also debuting is God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, Jaime’s superhero epic combining material from Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 and #2 plus 30 all-new pages. Comic-Con also hails the release of Gilbert’s children-focused graphic novel,The Adventures of Venus, which we recently previewed on Robot 6. You can also expect a Love and Rockets-related announcement Saturday at the “30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets” panel.

Check out the shirts and the full press release below.

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Second Walking Dead Compendium due in stores Oct. 3

A second Walking Dead Compendium will arrive just in time for Halloween and, of course, the next season of AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series. The massive volume, collecting issues #49-96 of the Walking Dead comic book, arrives Oct. 3 and retails for $59.99.

Robert Kirkman told USA Today it’s his favorite format for the comic. “It’s just such a big, huge book that really offers a lot of bang for your buck,” he said. “The idea of having Volume 1 and 2 sitting next to each other on a reinforced shelf really excites me.”

Like its predecessor, it collects eight trade paperbacks into one 1,068-page volume. It also sports a similar cover to the first volume, featuring the main characters at the top and “zombiefied” mirror images of them below.

Check out the full cover by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn after the jump.

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SDCC ’12 | Sunday programming schedule announced

Comic-Con

2012′s Comic-Con International wraps up on Sunday with its traditional focus on kids. Kid-friendly properties like LEGO Ninjago, video game characters Sonic and Mega Man, SpongeBob SquarePants, Carton Network’s Ben 10 and Level Up!, and many more are represented, along with creators like Raina Telgemeier, Art Baltazar and Franco, Shane Houghton and others who know a thing or two about creating great kids’ comics.

Comic publishers get their final chance to talk up their lines, as Marvel, DC Comics, Image, Archie, IDW Publishing and more are represented. The schedule also includes spotlight panels for Jason Shiga, Angelo Torres, Tom Yeates and Alison Bechdel.

Here are some of the comics-related highlights below; visit the Comic-Con website to see the complete schedule.

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Nominees named for 2012 Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award

Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for this year’s Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award. They are:

  • Craig Cermak, artist of Voltron, Year One (published by Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Martin Cóccolo, artist of Helldorado (published by APE Entertainment)
  • Tyler Crook, artist of Petrograd (published by Oni Press) and B.P.R.D. (published by Dark Horse)
  • Teagan Gavet, penciler of Norgard: Across Thin Ice (Published by Sofawolf)
  • Dave Wachter, artist of Night of 1,000 Wolves and That Hellbound Train (published by IDW Publishing)

The award is named for Russ Manning, the prolific artist who worked on Tarzan and Star Wars, and created the classic comic series Magnus, Robot Fighter. Started in 1982 as a joint presentation of Comic-Con International and the West Coast Comics Club, this award honors a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. Previous winners of the award include Dave Stevens, the first winner in 1982, as well as Art Adams, Jeff Smith, Gene Ha, Jerome Opeña, Steve Rude, David Petersen, R. Kikuo Johnson, Marian Churchland and Nate Simpson, who won last year.

The winner will be announced July 13 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Tr!ckster offers the chance to have Steve Niles co-write your comic

Tr!ckster, the creator-focused event that took place offsite last year during Comic-Con International, is planning a return to San Diego. Putting on an event like Tr!ckster takes money, of course, so the creators involved have turned to Indiegogo to raise the $35,000 they need.

Indiegogo works a lot like Kickstarter: You contribute money toward a particular project and get back some kind of reward based on how much you pledged. The Tr!ckster folks are offering some fairly unique incentives that stem from the creator-centric ideas behind the event itself. These include opportunities to brainstorm, get feedback from, and even co-create with, the likes of B. Clay Moore, Doug TenNapel and Steve Niles. For instance, for $300, you can choose a cocktail hour/working session with Ivan Brandon and Eric Canete, who will help you brainstorm and offer feedback over booze. And for $750, Niles will actually co-write a 22-page comic with you. If you’re serious about becoming a comic book creator and have the money to spend, this is a pretty great opportunity. And if you aren’t interested in the creator incentives, they’re also offering things like Tr!ckster T-shirts and a Mike Mignola print.

Tr!ckster 2012 will be held July 11-13 at Wine Steals/Proper, a paired restaurant/pub on J Street in San Diego.

Mattel reveals Tiny Titans, Death San Diego exclusives

Tiny Titans

The operative word for Mattel’s San Diego exclusives this year would be “cute,” if the three DC Comics items they posted on their MattyCollector site today are any indication. As you can see above, they’ll be offering a set of Tiny Titans collectible figures with a display base. And if that’s not enough of a cute overload for you, click below to see the Death figure and the Polly Pocket Comics Villains set, featuring a trio of Bat villains, labeled “A” for “Adorable.”

They also announced some Masters of the Universe and Ghostbusters exclusives as well, so click on over if you want to check those out.

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Comics A.M. | Stan Lee talks comics and The Stan Lee Story

Stan Lee

Creators | Ahead of the premiere of the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, the 89-year-old Lee discusses the big-screen success of his co-creations, the fairy-tale appeal of superheroes, his favorite character (he doesn’t have one), and a time when he was embarrassed to admit he wrote comic books: “Oh well, in the beginning, comics were the lowest rung on the cultural totem pole. I’d go to a party and people would say ‘What do you do?’ ‘Um, uh, I’m a writer’ and I’d try to walk away. And the guy would follow. ‘What do you write?’ ‘Oh, er, stories for kids.’ Well finally he’d pin me down and I’d say, ‘Okay, I write comic books’ — and boy, he couldn’t get away fast enough. Now, though, I walk into a party and someone sees me and they say, ‘Sorry, excuse me a minute, President Obama, I have to go over and say hello to Stan Lee.’ Well, okay. Slight exaggeration on my part.” [The Star-Ledger]

Conventions | The Calgary Sun previews this weekend’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. [Calgary Sun]

Conventions | Jimmy Jay wonders whether Comic-Con International in San Diego could expand to two weekends, like the Coachella Music Fest. [ComicConMen]

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Comics A.M. | Chris Roberson speaks on his split with DC Comics

Chris Roberson

Creators | iZombie writer Chris Roberson discusses his recent public announcement that he would no longer accept work from DC Comics and his subsequent dismissal from his last writing job for the publisher. “Well, this has been building over the last few months, and mostly had to do with what I saw DC and Time Warner doing in regards to creator relations. I think the first thing — you have to understand that when I first started working for DC in 2008, the Siegels had just recaptured half of the copyright for Action Comics #1 and I felt very good about that. That seemed like a very positive step. And then over the course of the last few months there has been the counter-suit against the Siegels’ lawyer, Marc Toberoff, and I was less sanguine about that, and starting to get a little itchy about it, and then there were just a few general things about the way that it seemed that DC regards creators now that are working for them — and I can talk about that more in detail — but the real kind of proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the announcement at the beginning of February of Before Watchmen, which I just thought was unconscionable. And so I had already signed a contract by that point to do six more issues of iZombie, of which three of them had been turned in, and so I just made the decision to go ahead and turn in the remaining three, not wanting to jeopardize the livelihood of my collaborators Mike and Laura Allred. But once I turned in the last one, even though I had other work lined up, I would have to at least — if only for my own peace of mind — let people know that I wasn’t happy with it.” [The Comics Journal]

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