BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
Writer Rob Worley has provided ROBOT 6 with a preview of Scratch9: Cat of Nine Worlds #2 that includes an exclusive first look at the cover by Herobear & The Kid creator Mike Kunkel.
Debuting in 2010, the Eisner-nominated kids comic follows the adventures of a young, naive cat who can summon any of his eight other lives for help. Drawn by Joshua Buchanan, Cat of Nine Worlds kicks off in June with a new adventure from Hermes Press that finds the villainous Dr. Schrödinger allying himself with Strick (introduced in next month’s Free Comic Book Day Special), who could shape up to be Scratch9’s greatest foe. (Full disclosure: Worley is CBR’s lead developer.)
Available now for pre-order (Diamond code MAY14 1449), Scratch9: Cat of Nine Worlds #2 arrives July 2.
Conventions | The inaugural Indiana Comic Con, held over the weekend at the Indianapolis Convention Center, attracted nearly 15,000 attendees, and it sold out on Saturday. Guests included comics creators Joe Eisma, Steve Englehart, Geof Isherwood, Joelle Jones, Don Kramer, Cary Nord and George Perez, and actors Evan Peters, Caity Lotz, Maisie Williams and Daniel Cudmore. [WRTV]
Comics sales | Comics sales in the direct market were down in February for the second time in two months, according to Diamond Comic Distributors. John Jackson Miller runs the numbers: Sales of comics and graphic novels combined are down 10.39 percent from February 2013 in terms of dollars, 14.77 percent in units. Because January sales were also anemic, year-to-date sales are down as well. Still, Miller notes, total dollars are up 3 percent from February 2012. February is traditionally a low month for comic sales, and the number of releases is the lowest in months, with just 692 new products (comics, graphic novels and magazines) being shipped last month. [Comichron]
Scratch9, the all-ages series by Rob Worley and Justin Castaneda, will return for Free Comic Book Day with an issue from Hermes Press that finds the house cat teaming with the First Family’s dog Bo to save President Obama from an unknown plot.
Titled “Cat America/Dog America,” the story answers why the president is banning cats from the United States. It’s one of three tales in the special issue — it’s a flip-book shared by Worley and Joshua Buchanan’s Run & Amuk — that launches the new series Scratch9: Cat of Nine Worlds.
Comics sales | Is Mark Millar on to something after all? The first issue of Jupiter’s Legacy sold more than 105,000 copies to direct market stores in April; the only other Image comic to reach those numbers in recent years is The Walking Dead. ICv2 runs the numbers and also posts the Top 300 comics and graphic novels for April. [ICv2]
Passings | Matt Groening’s mother has died at the age of 94. Although she always went by Margaret, Groening borrowed her name for Marge Simpson in his animated series The Simpsons. [Comic Riffs]
Retailing | Amanda Emmert has resigned after nine years as executive director of ComicsPRO, the direct-market trade organization. [ComicsPRO]
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
I’ll be honest: The first thing I’d do with my $15 this week would be to buy Ultimate Spider-Man #160 (Marvel, $3.99), just to finally see Peter Parker die. This storyline has seemed so drawn out and by the numbers that it’s pretty much killed my interest in the series, and I’m hoping that the final issue either has a last-minute turnaround that makes everything worthwhile, or else provides some weird karmic payback by finally living up to its title. Much less bloodthirstily, I’d also grab the first issue of David Hahn’s All Nighter (Image, $2.99), which rescues what was, I believe, a one-time Minx book and looks like an awesome mash-up of Stuart Immonen, Jaime Hernandez and, unexpectedly, Steve Rolston. In other words, pretty damn great. Finally, I’d pick up Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search For Swamp Thing #1 (DC, $2.99), for curiosity value if nothing else. I mean, John Constantine in a DCU book? How odd can that actually get?
Welcome once again to our weekly round of “What would you buy if your budget was limited?” — or, as we call it, Food or Comics? Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner, Kevin Melrose and me as we run down what comics we’d buy if we only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad” money to splurge with.
This week we’re coming to you a day late, as comics won’t arrive in shops in the United States until tomorrow due to this past Monday’s big holiday. And check out Diamond’s full release list if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15 …
Batman and Robin #14 ($2.99)
Glamourpuss #15 ($3)
Starstruck #13 ($3.99)
My three main purchases for the week. The one of note is the final issue of Elaine May and Michael Kaluta’s Starstruck. I have no idea if IDW plans on collecting the series or not, or if there are other Starstruck mini-series in the works (I’m guessing not; my Spidey-sense tells me that the series wasn’t a solid seller for the company), but if this is the end (at least for now), I’m grateful to IDW for taking a chance and introducing me to what can only be described as an utterly dense and utterly unique comics-reading experience.
That’s right, they are putting pants on a cat:
Scratch’s new costume is very versatile. He can open the jacket up for hijinks, or close it up to pass unnoticed as a cat in woman’s clothing. The look incorporates the classic design — he’s still completely nude underneath – while adding a tough, elegant, street-fighter look.
“Nothing says street-fighter to me more than a cat wearing a tiara,” exclaimed Kruse.
A naked bid for publicity? You bet! But why not? Scratch9 debuts next month, and the press release, a deadpan parody of solemn comics writing, is a good preview of the sort of goofy humor you can expect from Worley and Kruse. Scratch9 is the story of a runaway cat named Scratch whose earlier nine lives take on material form after an encounter with a mad scientist, Dr. Schrodinger. While it’s a good kids’ comic, in a Saturday morning cartoon kind of way, I found the first issue to be entertaining on a grownup level as well.
(Oh, and I’m pretty sure they’re not really going to dress him up in leggings and a bodice. Cats don’t take kindly to that sort of thing, as you can see after the jump …)