On the eve of the U.S. premiere of Marvel’s The Avengers, Mondo has released the seventh and final limited-edition print in honor of the superhero blockbuster. Created by Tyler Stout, the poster showcases Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (in multiple forms), Nick Fury and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and, yes, even Loki. It joins previously released prints spotlighting Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Thor.
The limited-edition Avengers print goes on sale Friday for $60; the variant is $110. Follow Mondo’s Twitter account for specific times.
“I guess the thing that I want to say about fandom is that it’s the closest thing to religion there is that isn’t actually religion. The love of something and what it’s trying to accomplish or mean are usually very separate. The people who are like, ‘Well you can’t do it. That staircase was seven steps, not five.’ They totally missed the point of this. When I first met the comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, we were talking about comics and he told me his favorite letter was, ‘Daredevil would never say that. Die. Die. Why can’t you just die?’ [...] And Bendis can’t, by the way. Sunlight, stake through the heart, beheading, he won’t die. He’s actually very powerful. [...] Yeah, you know, he likes to get his head cut off at parties. But that thing of needing to replicate and to venerate this thing that we love isn’t about that thing’s philosophy. Those two things are separate. Hopefully, the idea in Buffy was that they were so entwined that there wouldn’t be people who loved that show excessively that didn’t get it.”
“You would think at some point that people who write about entertainment would clue into the fact that girls do, in fact, enjoy genres that they seem to think are boys-only. I mean, we fangirls rant about this shit all the time. Could someone pick up a clue? Here, I’ll put it in big letters so anyone still holding onto that dumbass, outdated, sexist notion will understand it better: WOMEN LIKE ALL KINDS OF THINGS. There’s not a contract that we sign at birth stating that we can only like stuff with glitter and princesses and romance. Guess what? We DO like stuff with glitter and princesses and romance, and we also like stuff with badass superheroes, aliens, and ass-kicking. So stop writing about genre films as if women haven’t the faintest clue that superheroes exist, and they need a cutesy little nudge in the right direction so they can please their boyfriends.”
– TDF Pamela, responding to Moviefone’s cringe-inducing “Girl’s Guide to The Avengers: What You Need to Know If You Know Nothing,” which advises “dutiful girlfriend[s]” on what to say (“Joss Whedon is the man”), and not say (“Do you think Scarlett Johansson is pretty?”), while attending the Marvel blockbuster with their boyfriends
Legal | Todd McFarlane Productions has emerged from bankruptcy after more than seven years, having paid more than $2.2 million to creditors, according to court documents dug up by Daniel Best. Of that, $1.1 million was part of McFarlane’s settlement with Neil Gaiman, which brought to a close the decade-long legal battle over the rights to Medieval Spawn, the heavenly warrior Angela and other characters (it’s unknown how much of that disbursement was eaten up by legal fees and how much actually went to Gaiman; the writer has publicly stated he gives money won in the proceedings to charity). Todd McFarlane Productions filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2004 following the $15 million court award to former NHL player Tony Twist, who sued over the use of his name in Spawn for the mob enforcer Antonio “Tony Twist” Twistelli. McFarlane and Twist settled in 2007 for $5 million. [20th Century Danny Boy]
First, a heads-up on the British Invasion of Toronto: This weekend, Toronto Comics Art Festival will host a number of creators from the United Kingdom, including Sean Azzopardi (Necessary Monsters), Darryl Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales), Joe Decie (Accidental Salad), Tom Gauld (Goliath), Lizz Lunney (Depressed Cat: Nine Miserable Lives) and Luke Pearson (Hilda and the Midnight Giant). Publishers Blank Slate, Nobrow Press and SelfMadeHero will also be in attendance. I ran into some other British creators at MoCCA this weekend; you’ll be hearing about that shortly.
Comics | Gary Northfield shows off some of the art from his comic Gary’s Garden, which runs in the weekly children’s comic The Phoenix:
Part autobiography, part made-up nonsense (well, mainly completely made-up nonsense to be fair), Gary’s Garden delves into my favourite thing ever – me spying on the comings and goings of all the little dudes and dudettes who dwell in my garden.
This makes me wish more fervently than ever that The Phoenix would get an app or somehow make itself available outside the UK, digitally or on paper. Adding to my pain: Jim Medway offers a peek at his new comic Chip Charlton & Mr. Woofles of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Conventions | Thousands of fans were locked out of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo after the local fire marshal declared that the building had reached capacity. The big draw was not actually comics but a reunion of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. [Calgary Herald]
Awards | The Thrill Electric, an online comic created by Leah Moore and John Reppion, Emma Vieceli, Windflower Studio and LittleLoud for the U.K.’s Channel 4, has been nominated for best website in the 2012 Broadcast Digital Awards. [Broadcast]
Creators | Jay Faerber talks about his early ambitions, his current comic Near Death, and what is so special about being published by Image: “The thing about Image is you have absolute creative freedom. Once Near Death was approved, I just wrote it. There were no notes from Eric or anyone else at Image telling me what they think I should do, which is awesome. But it can also be a burden, because if a book sucks, I can’t say, ‘Well, if I had been able to do it my way…’ – because I did do it my way. So working at Image has made me become my own editor. The buck stops here, you know?” [Broken Frontier]
Mondo, Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art boutique, continues its rollout of limited-edition prints in honor of Marvel’s The Avengers with posters of Iron Man, by Kevin Tong, and Thor, by Martin Ansin. They go on sale Friday for $45 each; follow Mondo’s Twitter account for specific times.
We’re in the middle of a massive build-up to the May 4 opening of Marvel’s The Avengers, and The National Post‘s resident cartoonist Steve Murray has focused his trained eye on the tools of the hero trade. Published earlier this week, his illustration catalogs the weapons of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with nerd acumen intact and not without some humor.
From his description of Thor’s hammer: “Forged from the core of a dying star, Mjolnir is Thor’s very multi-purpose hammer. It can control the weather, open inter-dimensional portals and turn Thor into a weak human by tapping its handle on the ground. When this happens the hammer turns into a pretty boring stick. Also, the hammer returns to you when you throw it, like a Home Depot boomerang. Only people who are worthy may lift the hammer, which is a great way to test out a blind date.”
Click on the image at the right to see the entire infographic.
Murray, who sometimes goes by the nom de guerre of Chip Zdarsky, is a cartoonist with an uncommonly sharp wit. In addition to his gig as columnist/cartoonist/illustrator for The National Post, he’s also created some comics worth tracking down, like the print series Prison Funnies and the very-much-missed Zdarskyverse webcomic he did for Act-I-Vate which is now archived on his website.
With Marvel’s The Avengers arriving amid the controversy surrounding DC Comics’ Watchmen prequels and a new development in the prolonged battle over the rights to Superman, it was probably only a matter of time before Stan Lee was cornered about the apparent lack of film credit for his longtime collaborator Jack Kirby.
During an interview to promote The Avengers, as well as the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, Moviefone asked the legendary writer and editor about concerns — more like complaints, actually — that his co-creator’s name appears nowhere on the $220 million movie. Lee seemed genuinely perplexed, replying, “I don’t know how to answer that because in what way would his name appear?” before offering that “it’s mentioned in every comic book; it says ‘By Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.’”
Pressed, Lee said, “you’re talking to the wrong guy because I have nothing to do with the credits on the movies. I’m credited as one of the executive producers because that’s in my contract. But Jack was not an executive producer. So I don’t know what he’d be credited as. Again I know nothing about that, I have nothing to do with the movie’s credits. You’d have to talk to whoever is the producer of the movie.”
It’s probably not a fair question to ask of Lee. While he’s made cameo appearances in nearly every film based on his Marvel co-creations since 2000′s X-Men, and is listed as an executive producer, that credit was negotiated years ago by Lee’s lawyers (along with a much more tangible percentage of profits). And despite his chairman emeritus title and lifetime salary, he doesn’t wield any actual power at the company.
Still, fair or not, the question once again highlights the issue that Lee was in a position to make deals for credits and profit shares, while Kirby never came close. It’s undoubtedly an uncomfortable matter for Lee, made clear by his attempt to pivot away from the question. “Is there anything you want to ask me about the documentary,” he told Moviefone, “because I thought that’s what I was supposed to be talking about.”
UPDATE: According to some who have seen The Avengers, Kirby’s name does appear, in the end credits.
Timothy Lim came up with this poster for a fictional Avengers movie. As excited as I am for what we’re getting, I want to see this, too.
Creators | Ali Ferzat, the Syrian cartoonist who was abducted and beaten last year because of his criticisms of the government, was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” “Tyrants often don’t get the jokes, but their people do,” Pulitzer Prize-winning Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker writes in his tribute to Ferzat. “So when the iron fist comes down, it often comes down on cartoonists.” [Time]
Publishing | In one of its wide-ranging interviews with comics publishers, the retail news and analysis site ICv2 talks with Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson about the state of the market, the loss of Borders, his company’s 2011 layoffs, webcomics, and some early missteps with its digital program: “Quite honestly we’ve run into a few issues because the programs that we’ve done haven’t worked as well as we wished. We created some exclusive material and got less participation than we had hoped for. [...] We gave codes out to retail stores to drive customers into their stores. They could pick up the exclusive content by going to their participating comic shop. Evidently we didn’t do a good enough job getting the word out, so we’re retooling that.” [ICv2.com]
Mondo, Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art boutique, has revealed the first two of the seven posters commissioned in honor of Marvel’s The Avengers. For his limited-edition Black Widow print, Olly Moss took a minimalist approach to the super-spy turned superhero, with a red gun in place of her lips and “From Russia With Gun,” a nod to James Bond, beneath. Meanwhile, Tom Whalen, who’s no stranger to comic books or costumed heroes, tackled Hawkeye with his trademark sense of graphic design.
The Black Widow and Hawkeye prints will gone on sale Thursday and Friday, respectively, for $45 each. Sale times will be announced via Mondo’s Twitter account.
Let’s be honest, who hasn’t wondered what the Avengers might look like as dinosaurs? Luckily for all of us, illustrator Terryl Whitlatch, who’s credited with designing Jar-Jar Binks for Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, has the talent and the imagination to end our wondering with the introduction of Captain Paramerica, Thorosaurus, Hulkasaurus and Ironkylosaurus.
“It was fun deciding what dinosaurs should be what characters,” Whitlatch writes. “I ended up with an Ankylosaur as Iron Man (a no-brainer, as this animal is naturally armored), a Parasaurolophus as Captain America, just because I thought with that crest it would look really funny, a Triceratops as Thor, especially since when it grows up it is actually a Torosaurus, hence ‘Thor’-osaurus, and a T-rex as the Hulk so I could give it really muscularly odd little arms.”
That’s, of course, Ironkylosaurus above and Captain Paramerica below. Visit Tor.com to see the other two.
NOTE: The images have been removed at the request of GQ.
Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang and GQ designer Benjamin Bours have revealed Chiang’s illustration of director, screenwriter and comics scribe Joss Whedon for a feature in the May issue of the magazine titled “The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth.”
“It’s always a treat to do some editorial illustration,” Chiang writes, “and when it’s a portrait of somebody as beloved in the comics scene as Joss Whedon, I couldn’t ask for a better subject.”
See a much larger version of his illustration below, and visit Bours’ website to see more pages from the Whedon profile.
Creators | Market Day creator James Sturm explains he’ll be boycotting The Avengers movie because he believes Jack Kirby, co-creator of many of Marvel’s longest-lasting characters, “got a raw deal”: “What makes this situation especially hard to stomach is that Marvel’s media empire was built on the backs of characters whose defining trait as superheroes is the willingness to fight for what is right. It takes a lot of corporate moxie to put Thor and Captain America on the big screen and have them battle for honor and justice when behind the scenes the parent company acts like a cold-blooded supervillain. As Stan Lee famously wrote, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’” Tom Spurgeon notes the position seems to mark a shift for Sturm, who wrote the Eisner-winning 2003 miniseries Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules for Marvel. [Slate, The Comics Reporter]