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Crime | Screenwriter and graphic novelist Blake Leibel has been arrested on charges of torturing and murdering his girlfriend Iana Kasian, who recently gave birth to their child. Leibel, the 35-year-old son of a wealthy Toronto family, is the co-creator of the graphic novel Syndrome, published in 2010 by Archaia, which he described at the time as “a lengthy graphic novel that grappled with the questions surrounding what provokes a person to commit evil acts.” The press was quick to pick up on several aspects of the murder that mirrored the graphic novel: among them, that he allegedly drained Kasian’s blood, as a character does to several victims in Syndrome. Leibel has pleaded not guilty to the charges. [The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times]
Titan Comics has released a lineup of Doctor Who exclusives for Comic-Con International that includes a new short story, variant covers, and a pair of collectible figures.
The Doctor Who Titans figurines will likely be too difficult for fans of David Tennant to pass up: a 3-inch Tenth Doctor from the 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor,” wearing the Eleventh Doctor’s signature fez, and a 4.5-inch Tenth Doctor in a tuxedo.
Titan Comics has provided ROBOT 6 with a first look at the new trailer for Scarlett Couture, the long-teased espionage-adventure series by Des Taylor.
Originally announced for release in October 2014, the comic will now debut April 29, bringing with it a healthy dose of high-octane spy action, with plenty of high fashion.
This week Titan Comics releases a new collected edition of Kingdom of the Wicked, the 1996 fantasy miniseries by frequent collaborators Ian Edginton and D’Israeli (Dark Horse published a hardcover collection in 2004, but it’s out of print.)
The new edition offers a sort of director’s commentary by D’Israeli, who details his creative process. To let readers know what they will get when buying the book, Titan shared with ROBOT 6 some the process for one page, as well as D’Israeli’s commentary.
This week marks the release of the final collected volume of Jack Katz‘s an epic series initially published in the 1970s and ’80s. Titan Comics began reissuing Katz’s magnum opus, which clocks in at an impressive 768 pages, in 2013. Each remastered volume was produced utilizing cleaned and restored art taken from high-resolution scans of Katz’s original art pages, as well as being completely relettered. Titan also provided background information on the history of Katz’s story, as well as extra material, such as character sketches as well as original drawings.
To mark the release, Titan Comics shared with ROBOT 6 some of the extras included in the final volume.
Best known for his role as Mickey Smith on Doctor who, actor Noel Clarke is making the leap to comics with a series from Titan called The Troop.
“As a teenager, when I was young, I always liked the teen teams […] but for me, they never really pushed the boundaries,” he said in a video played at Comic-Con International in San Diego, “they never really pushed the envelope, and with The Troop, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Written by Clarke and illustrated by Joshua Cassara, The Troop is billed by Titan Comics as “an edgy soap opera of violence and superpowers.” Watch Clarke’s video, and check out a preview of the comic, below.
If the biggest surprise coming out of Comic-Con International on Friday was that, before last night, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez had never won an Eisner Award — seriously, how can that be? — a close second was undoubtedly the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover from IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios.
Yes, the two sci-fi franchises will finally meet in an alternate-future event that brings the original crew of the Enterprise together with Taylor, Nova and other characters from 1968’s Planet of the Apes as the Klingons secretly support a renegade gorilla general in a coup to seize control of Ape City. Writers Scott and David Tipton will be joined by artist Rachael Stott for the crossover, which marks the first time BOOM! has partnered with another publisher.
Other announcements of note:
• After being introduced into the Marvel Universe at the end of the Age of Ultron miniseries and discovering her past in Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, Neil Gaiman’s angelic warrior Angela will star in her own ongoing, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett and artists Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans.
Conventions | The Salt Lake Comic Con spinoff event FanXperience is shaping up for its April 17 debut with the addition of KidCon, a pavilion dedicated to younger attendees. “We don’t want the impression that we have KidCon there for everything else to become less kid-friendly,” says co-founder Dan Farr. “Although I would imagine 99 percent of the people that are coming are going to take their kids throughout the whole hall, it’s just to have an area where they can go and spend a little more time with their kids.” The inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con in September drew an estimated 80,000 attendees; organizers anticipate as many as 100,000 for FanX, which will have almost double the floor space. [Deseret News]
Legal | The judge was a no-show for what was supposed to be the announcement of the verdict in the trial of Algerian cartoonist Djamel Ghanem, who stands accused of “insulting the president of the republic” in a cartoon that was, bizarrely, never published. Ghanem’s lawyer says the verdict has been postponed; the cartoonist faces up to 18 months in prison and a fine of 30,000 dinars ($380 U.S>) if found guilty. [Global Post]
Titan Comics has released a trailer for Scarlett Couture, the upcoming espionage-adventure series from illustrator Des Taylor about an heiress turned super-spy.
The title character is a billionaire fashion heiress who as a teenager is kidnapped and held for ransom, only to be rescued by Lt. Spencer Kelly, who trains her in hand-to-hand combat and intelligence to ensure she’s never in that position again. When she learns her mother was once a spy for the CIA, Scarlett uses her mother’s fashion empire as a cover for her own quest to bring the world’s greatest criminals to justice.
You can see more of Taylor’s work on his blog. Scarlett Couture #1 goes on sale Oct. 15.
This time last year, longtime U.K. book and magazine publisher Titan announced it was delving into comics with a new imprint titled, aptly enough, Titan Comics. And in the 12 months since, the company has published a number of creator-owned titles as well as new editions of formerly out-of-print stories such as Jack Katz’s The First Kingdom. But 2014 looks to see the company grow by leaps and bounds, as it recently announced the acquisition of the comics license for Doctor Who, previously held by IDW Publishing.
During IDW’s seven-year run publishing Doctor Who comics, it produced an ongoing series and a number of miniseries and one-shots to some success, so it’s conceivable that Titan Comics could do much the same. If so, it could help expand Titan from a boutique publisher to a sizable presence in the marketplace.
Veteran U.K. writer Gordon Rennie has been using his Facebook account this week to tease several upcoming projects, including a new edition of the long-out-of-print White Trash, the series that propelled the late, great Martin Emond to stardom. Emond loved rock ‘n’ roll, and rock ‘n’ roll loved him: He was regularly employed by Glenn Danzig at his horror/smut imprint Verotik, and had signed a deal to develop his character Switch Blade into an animated series with Interscope Records just days before he committed suicide in 2004.
White Trash features thinly veiled analogs for Elvis Presley and Axl Rose going together on an anarchic road trip across America. Rennie posted this image when he released the news, a cover from the original Tundra/Atomeka miniseries. I’m presuming this new Titan collection may well include shorts featuring these characters done for other sources, such as Heavy Metal and the U.K. anthology Blast!
Publishing | Douglas Wolk uses a classic comics trope — who would win in a fight between Marvel and DC Comics, or rather, Batman and Iron Man? — to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the two companies and how their business models have evolved. [Slate]
Comics | Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater and writer and artist Dan Parent talk about the latest story arc, which takes the Riverdale gang to India for an encounter with Bollywood. [The Times of India]
Manga | Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, spoke about manga and the importance of freedom of expression at the most recent Comiket, the world’s largest comics event, in Tokyo. [CBLDF]
Let’s be honest: A lot of comic-book teasers are pretty uninspired, offering such little information that it can sometimes be difficult to discern just what they’re teasing. Happily, that’s not the case with Titan Comics’ imaginative teaser for Dan Boultwood’s It Came! #1, which is jam-packed with hilarious detail.
Provided to ROBOT 6, the teaser takes the form of the front page from the Aug. 4, 1948 edition of the Trumpington Bugle, which breathlessly chronicles the destruction wrought by a giant space-robot — or, “the tin-can evil,” if you prefer — on the town. where it trampled tractors and prize zucchini with little regard for either. All it’s missing is narration by Orson Welles.
It’s a fun way to give a last-minute push to what the publisher describes as “a knowing throwback to the heyday of low-budget SF cinema – in comic book form!” You can check out a preview of the first issue at Comic Book Resources. Boultwood’s It Came! debuts Wednesday from Titan.
And just like clockwork, Comic-Con International organizers have rolled out the programming schedule for Friday, July 19.
On its second day, the San Diego convention kicks into high gear, with publishing panels from Dark Horse (including one dedicated to Joss Whedon’s titles, and another to Star Wars), DC Comics, IDW (including the Hasbro licenses), Marvel (including the perennial “Cup O’ Joe”), Oni Press, Titan Comics and UDON, retrospectives devoted to ElfQuest, Walt Kelly, Aspen and Strangers in Paradise, and tributes to the late Carmine Infantino and Kim Thompson.
Oh, and don’t forget the Eisner Awards ceremony, which caps off the day.
Check out some of the comics-related highlights below, and visit the Comic-Con website for the full schedule:
Titan Comics has released a preview of Tomorrowland, the four-issue miniseries by Paul Jenkins and Stellar Labs set against the backdrop of the world’s largest electronic dance music festival.
Announced in January as part of Titan Publishing’s partnership with Atomeka Press, the comic follows real-life Belgian DJs Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike as they’re drawn into an impossible adventure to save the vital spark of creativity from the forces that would destroy it!”
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