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Comics A.M. | ‘The Beano’ sets Guinness World Record

The Beano #3800

The Beano #3800

Comics | Issue 3800 of the British comic The Beano hit newsstands last week, making it officially, according to Guinness World Records, the longest-running weekly comic. Artist David Sutherland, who has been drawing the Bash Street Kids since 1961, unveiled the official plaque at Beano headquarters. [Down the Tubes]

Auctions | A copy of Suspense Comics #3, published in 1944, sold for $173,275 at auction last month, setting a new record for a non-superhero comic. The high price was probably due to the cover, by Alex Schomburg, which features a woman tied up and apparently about to be sacrificed by Nazis and the KKK, a crossover that would attract potential buyers from several groups of enthusiasts (this issue was described in an earlier auction as a ““Nazi/Bondage/Horror/War hybrid”). Plus it’s rare — the lurid cover may have suppressed sales when it was first published — and in good condition. [Observer]

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Jericho to return to comics this summer


It’s been four years since the post-nuclear war television series Jericho went off the air, but it found life after CBS through Devil’s Due and later IDW. Following a “season three” miniseries that was eventually completed at IDW, the publisher has announced another installment of Jericho comics for this summer.

Overseen by the original television series’ writing staff and written by Kalinda Vazquez, with art by Andrew Currie and covers by Tim Bradstreet, the five-issue series will pick after the events of season three.

“The greatest fans in the world came out strong for Jericho Season Three: Civil War and we are so thrilled to announce another installment of the comic book series,” said Dan Shotz, executive producer of Jericho, in a press release. “Jake and Hawkins have finally come home to Jericho and we want to personally thank those fans and IDW for allowing that to happen.”

“Working so closely with the creators of the TV show has been a blast, their love of the material is contagious, and one of the reasons I think fans relate to it so fervently,” said IDW Senior Editor Scott Dunbier.

No doubt more details will be shared at this weekend’s C2E2.

IDW teases G.I. Joe/Danger Girl ‘crossover of the century’ [Updated]

Danger Girl/ G.I. Joe

It looks like things are about to get even more dangerous for the G.I. Joe team.

IDW Publishing announced on their Facebook page today that they will publish a G.I. Joe/Danger Girl crossover.

“CROSSOVER OF THE CENTURY ALERT: DANGER GIRL and GI JOE are teaming up! Campbell! Hartnell! Royle! Barber! Dunbier!” were the only words accompanying the artwork seen above, featuring Danger Girl Abbey Chase dressed as the Baroness. No further details were shared, but I’m betting we find out more this weekend at C2E2.

Update: Update: Kiel Phegley at CBR picks up a few more tidbits on the project at the Diamond Retailer Summit leading into C2E2: The series will be written by Scott Campbell and co-creator Andy Hartnell, and drawn by John Royle.

And then there was that time a tuxedo-clad Jim Lee rode a camel

Jim Lee and friend, circa 1997

File under “Oh, Right, the ’90s”: Over the weekend Scott Dunbier, former executive editor of Wildstorm and current special projects editor of IDW Publishing, tweeted a photo from a late 1990s New Year’s Eve party of  a sharp-dressed, if “a bit tipsy,” Jim Lee … riding a camel. Lee, the Wildstorm founder turned DC Comics co-publisher, added only, “Doing my Nixon.”

Comics A.M. | Disney working to bring Marvel heroes to theme parks

Disney and Marvel

Theme parks | Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company has begun preliminary design work that will pave the way for Marvel superheroes to one day appear alongside familiar characters in Disney theme parks. Iger told shareholders attending the annual meeting Tuesday that the company has been working on some concepts, but hasn’t announced anything yet. Disney is currently developing attractions based on James Cameron’s Avatar film for its Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida, which are expected to be ready in 2015. [Los Angeles Times]

Comic strips | Alan Gardner counts 57 newspapers that aren’t carrying this week’s Doonesbury comics, which address a Texas law requiring women requesting an abortion to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound. But according to Universal UClick, no papers have dropped Garry Trudeau’s strip. [The Daily Cartoonist]

Publishing | John Jackson Miller discusses the Rule of Eight, which holds that independent publishers start to falter once they put out more than eight titles per month, and goes into the nuances of the theory with its originator of the idea, Marc Patten. [The Comichron]

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NYCC | McCool, Guevara to adapt Russian film Alexander Nevsky for IDW

Ben McCool (Pigs, Memoir) and Mario Guevara (Solomon Kane, Victorian Undead) will adapt Sergei Eisenstein’s 1938 film Alexander Nevsky into comics form. Titled Nevsky, IDW will publish the 110-page graphic novel in Spring 2012.

Set in the 13th century, the film and graphic novel tell the story of Alexander Nevsky, a 13th century Russian leader who led his soldiers to victory over the invading Teutonic Knights.

“Nevsky was as much a leader as he was a warrior,” McCool said in a press release. “His story isn’t just a page of little known history; it’s an inspiring tale full of strategy and battles and the fight for freedom.”

“Nevsky has a compelling story by Ben McCool and breathtaking art by Mario Guevara,” said IDW Senior Editor, Special Projects Scott Dunbier. “But the big picture here is Nevsky himself, a larger than life figure from Russian history who literally reaches out from the page and pulls you headfirst into the story–if you liked 300, you’ll love this!”

You can find the complete press release after the jump. You can find more information on the project at its official website.

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SDCC ’11 | IDW to publish Artist’s Edition of Eisner’s The Spirit

IDW Publishing announced yet another Artist’s Edition today at Comic-Con International in San Diego: A collection of Will Eisner’s The Spirit, to be released in 2012. The 144-page book will be shot from the original art, and the black-and-white strips will be photographed and reproduced in color in order to catch every nuance and correction — as you can see from the cover image. The book will also be in the large “Golden Age” format, which is bigger than the other Artist’s Editions.

Editor Scott Dunbier says this edition will focus on Eisner’s work from just after his return from World War II, because his work showed a new maturity in that period. “When he came back to the strip in 1946, he became, I think, one of the foremost comic artists ever,” Dunbier told CBR. “His storytelling reached such heights, he really produced a nearly unparalleled body of work during this period.” Dunbier and Dennis Kitchen, who is the agent for Eisner’s estate, are in the process of selecting the stories for the book.

Original Sandman team reunites for Hero Initiative anthology

My First Landlady

Just in time for next month’s San Diego Comic Con, IDW will release Hero Comics 2011, an anthology that benefits the Hero Initiative. The book will feature a new Chew short story by John Layman and Rob Guillory, an Elephantman story by Richard Starkings and Dougie Braithwaite, and a new story called “My Last Landlady” by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg — the creative team on the first five issues of the landmark 1980s/90s DC series The Sandman. The anthology is edited by IDW’s Scott Dunbier.

“When it comes to doing the impossible, there’s a dude who doesn’t really recognize that ‘impossible’ exists. Ladies and gentlemen, there is only one Scott Dunbier. Accept no substitutes,” the Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin said on the HI’s blog. Head over there to check out the first two pages of the story.

Scott Dunbier talks about Parker distribution problems



If you live on the West side of the United States, then good news — your comics retailer should have received their copies of IDW’s excellent Parker: The Hunter book by Darwyn Cooke this week.

If you live out East, well … the news isn’t so good. It’s not terrible, mind you, but you’ll have to wait until next Wednesday to pick up the book.

After seeing some buzz around the internet that some retailers didn’t get their copies, I contacted IDW’s Scott Dunbier, who clarified why part of the country didn’t get it, as well as why Amazon was saying the book wouldn’t ship until August.

JK: I’ve seen some excited reports around the ‘net about retailers and fans receiving their copies of The Hunter this week. I’ve also seen some reports from retailers who didn’t get their copies. What was the reason some retailers didn’t get it this week?

Scott Dunbier: Yes, all the feedback we’ve received so far has been incredibly positive. But, as you point out, some shops didn’t receive the book this week, ones in the Eastern half of the country. The book was held up in customs for a couple of days, which threw distribution for a loop.

JK: Is there an update on when these shops will get their copies?

Scott: Every comic shop should have their copies by next week.

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Talking Comics with Tim: Bob Fingerman

From the Ashes

From the Ashes

When I learned that IDW was publishing Bob Fingerman‘s newest project, From the Ashes, I’ll admit I was pleassantly surprised, given that it seemed outside of IDW’s typical market focus. So when he recently agreed to an email interview I was eager to find out how it landed at IDW in addition to his thought process on this speculative memoir (as well as his latest Fantagraphics release, Connective Tissue). The first installment of the six-issue From The Ashes miniseries hits the market this Wednesday, May 13. Here’s the official snippet on the miniseries from IDW: “Fingerman and his wife Michele find out the apocalypse isn’t the end of the world in this hip satirical survival romp through Manhattan’s ruins. Think The Road, only funny!” My thanks to Fingerman for his time and to Emma Griffiths and Martin Wendel for facilitating this interview, as well as Chris Mautner for his help in formulating questions. If you happen to be in New York this Friday, May 15, Fingerman will have an art show/signing at Rocketship at 8 PM.

Tim O’Shea: Why did you opt to do this series as a mini-series, as opposed to a graphic novel?

Bob Fingerman: It wasn’t my choice. I’d have preferred to release it as a book straight off, but that’s not IDW’s business model. Still, they put out classy looking comics on good paper. And it will eventually get collected as a book.

O’Shea: You consulted with your wife, Michele, throughout the development of this story. But before embarking on this project did you tell her you intended this to be an “open love letter” (as you describe it in your recent Huffington Post piece) to her? Anyway you slice it, she clearly loves you a great deal to support a work that aims to capture your relationship with her and features “mutants, cannibals, zombies”.

Fingerman: Michele is the center of my life. She’s very supportive of everything I do. “Open love letter” is pretty corny, I’ll admit. But it’s honest. My consulting with her basically entailed repeatedly asking her, “Is it all right if I have you doing this or that?” She got final approval.

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