Retailing | Following a price war during which it lost $11,000 a day, Overstock.com has vowed to match Amazon’s price on books, including graphic novels, going forward. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne thinks he can get better prices from publishers who want to boost competition for Amazon. However, as ICv2 points out, Overstock’s graphic novel selection is smaller than Amazon’s, and prices overall have risen since their recent price war. [ICv2]
Creators | Todd McFarlane recently claimed no work that was “trying to get across a message” has succeeded as a comic, but Laura Sneddon finds proof to the contrary at the Stripped festival in Edinburgh, where she talked to Joe Sacco, Paul Cornell, Stephen Collins and Grant Morrison about the ideas that drive their comics. [New Statesman]
NPR television critic Linda Holmes has spent the past couple of weeks tweeting from the Television Critics Association press tour, which ended with a panel on the PBS documentary Superheroes: The Never-Ending Battle. Debuting Oct. 8, the three-part miniseries was directed by Michael Kantor, who was on the panel with comic book writers Todd McFarlane, Len Wein and Gerry Conway.
Holmes noted that the panelists asked about the lack of diversity in superhero comics, but unfortunately, the response to that question wasn’t very satisfying. She paraphrases four reasons cited by the panel:
With Comic-Con International now just a week away, Todd McFarlane and McFarlane Toys have rolled out a rundown of panels, signings, convention exclusives and giveaways.
McFarlane will appear on July 19 with Stan Lee at the Crazy Cat Collectibles booth to sign the Spider-Man Limited Venom Edition Guitar, featuring the artists cover art from Spider-Man #13, and July 19 and 20 at the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Pirate Ship for the free poster giveaway (McFarlane Toys’ Assassin’s Creed action figures will also be on display).
McFarlane Toys’ limited-edition The Walking Dead Comic Governor in Riot Gear action figure will be available at the Skybound booth (#2729), while Toys “R Us and Entertainment Earth (booth #2343) will debut The Walking Dead Comic Penny Blake The Governor’s Zombie Daughter, complete with fish tank and a bucket of body parts.
You can see the full McFarlane Comic-Con schedule below:
Game publisher Ubisoft has debuted Todd McFarlane’s poster for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, accompanied by a behind-the-scenes video of the artist energetically explaining how he approached the illustration. The limited-edition poster is available only to customers who pre-order the game through GameStop.
On sale Oct. 29 in North America, Assassin’s Creed IV features a new hero, Edward Kenway, who falls from privateering to piracy during the 18th century before becoming embroiled in the ancient war between the Assassins and the Templars.
In “By the Numbers,” ROBOT 6 takes a look back at the events of the past five days … in numbers.
With Thursday’s announcement that Neil Gaiman is returning to the Marvel Universe and bringing with him Angela, the character at the center of his eight-year legal battle with Todd McFarlane, we’re left to wonder about the whereabouts of Marvelman. We also look at the surprise departures at DC Comics, and what the right price is when you name your own.
Few were more excited by this morning’s announcement that Neil Gaiman will introduce Angela into the Marvel Universe than Kearstin Fay Nicholson, who referred to it on the Comic Book Resources Facebook page as the “greatest news I’ve heard all day.” That’s because the Chicago-based cosplayer won The Superhero Costuming Forum‘s 2012 Most Epic Female Costume Contest for her take on the Spawn character — and deservedly so.
You can see for yourself below, and on Nicholson’s photo gallery.
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Our special guest today is Ryan Stegman, artist of Superior Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, Fantastic Four, She-Hulks and more.
Now let’s get to it …
If you’ve been wondering how Rob Liefeld has been occupying his time since walking off three DC Comics series, scorching the earth around him as he left, the answer, at least in part, is Bloodstrike #34. However, he also found three days to transform a portion of his memoir into a 100-page screenplay about the formation of Image Comics. Of course.
The outspoken creator provided DreamMovieCast with excerpts from the project, tentatively titled Icons, which unlike Manti Te’o's dead girlfriend, is not a hoax. Or, rather iCons, as Liefeld clarified on Twitter. “Small ‘i’ dubble meaning,” he wrote.
Legal | A federal judge this week made final his Oct. 17 decision that the heirs of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster surrendered the ability to reclaim their 50-percent interest in the property in a 1992 agreement with DC Comics, triggering an almost-immediate appeal to the 9th Circuit by Shuster estate lawyer Marc Toberoff. Jeff Trexler delves into the legal strategy behind the attorney’s motion for final judgment. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Legal | Todd McFarlane has settled his lawsuit against former employee Al Simmons, who earlier this year released a book in which he claimed to be the inspiration for Spawn. McFarlane had accused Simmons of violating the terms of his employment pact and breaching his duty of loyalty. Settlement terms weren’t disclosed. [The Hollywood Reporter]
You may have heard that America will hold another presidential election in November. You might also remember four years ago, when we last held one of these big events that ran through all 50 titles, er, states, and everyone and their brother featured Barack Obama on the cover of their comic or within its pages.
We haven’t seen quite the frenzy from the comic industry this election season, but Todd McFarlane is jumping in feet first. As noted in the Image Comics solicitations that came out earlier this week, Spawn #225 will feature two different endings based on the results of the election. Here’s the text:
We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the New 52, and I anticipate doing the usual examinations of what worked and what didn’t. Until then, however, this preliminary post will try to organize my general impressions.
I have tried to keep an open mind about the various changes, but apparently I keep coming back to the New 52-niverse’s lack of meaningful fictional history. Much of this comes from the five-year timeline, but a good bit of it is due to storytelling styles. While origin stories can generate a nominal setting, including a regular supporting cast, many of the New-52 books held off for various reasons — like readers pretty much knowing the origins at the outset — and with today’s practical concerns, many books spent their first 12 issues on extended arcs.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been talking about this as a function of “idea generation,” but I think it is a more elemental concept. Specifically, it seems like I have been conditioned to expect a certain amount of continuity in a modern shared universe. Furthermore (and more troubling), I suspect the simple acknowledgment of preexisting continuity helps mitigate whatever weaknesses may exist in the stories themselves.
Auctions | Todd McFarlane’s original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 sold at auction Thursday for $657,250, shattering the record for a single piece of American comics art set last year by a splash page from The Dark Knight Returns #3 ($448,125). However, the price falls well short of the $1.6 million shell out last month for the original cover art for Tintin in America. A 9.8 graded copy of X-Men #1 was also sold by Heritage Auctions for $492,937.50, more than twice the previous record for that comic. [ICv2]
Publishing | Lily Rothman takes a look at iVerse’s newly announced comics-only crowdfunding platform Comics Accelerator, which will allow immediate delivery of digital rewards in a more sophisticated format than an e-mailed PDF and cap its share of the take at $2,500. As Laura Morley of Womanthology points out, it can go both ways: Being on Kickstarter, a trusted platform with wide visibility, helped boost the project, but on the other hand, “Any site that’s able to take advantage of the fact that comics online already work as a big community, as a place where people talk to their friends and promote things they’re interested in, is likely to do well.” [Time]
Todd McFarlane and Pearl Jam have a lot in common: Both helped to change the shape of their respective industries in the 1990s, both are still doing their thing 20 years later, both headlined Lollapalooza — wait, what? Actually, McFarlane directed the video for Pearl Jam’s “Do the Evolution,” so they do have a history.
Ahead of tonight’s presentation at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Wired has unveiled a clip from Comics in Focus: The Image Revolution, the documentary chronicling the rise and influence of Image Comics produced by the team behind Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods and Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts.
Funded in part through Kickstarter, the documentary from director Patrick Meaney, Sequart and Respect! Films traces the 20-year history of Image, “from its founders’ work at Marvel, through Image’s early days, the ups and downs of the ’90s, and the publisher’s new generation of properties like The Walking Dead.”
“And I have said over and over and over, and I will continue to say it to this day,” Image co-founder Todd McFarlane says in the clip (below). “That the writers cannot duplicate and replicate what we did because the writers are incapable of doing one thing that we did: Stop writing for fuckin’ Marvel and DC, and you will succeed.”
Meaney and producer Jordan Rennert will offer a look at the documentary tonight at 8 at Comic-Con. That’s followed Sunday by Image Comics’ 20th anniversary panel, featuring founders Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino, Whilce Portacio and Erik Larsen, and current partner Robert Kirkman.
The Hollywood Reporter has debuted the variant cover created by Invincible artist Ryan Ottley for the landmark 100th issue of The Walking Dead, the acclaimed horror series by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn. The variant joins those newly revealed from Todd McFarlane, Frank Quitely and Marc Silvestri, as well as the wraparound by Adlard.
“When Robert asked me to draw a cover for The Walking Dead, he said the magic words: ‘draw whatever you want.’ So I was totally excited to do something ‘action-y’ with Michonne and her sword,” Ottley said. “She’s always been my favorite character in the book, and soon to be in the TV show as well. And it’s always fun drawing zombie gore, especially with swords!”
Comic Book Resources will reveal Bryan Hitch’s variant cover Tuesday morning. Another by Sean Phillips will likely debut elsewhere. The Walking Dead #100 arrives July 11.
Kirkman and Ottley’s Invincible should reach its 100th issue in January. Check out the covers by Ottley, Quitely and Silvestri below (sorry, TV Guide ran McFarlane’s postage-stamp size).