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Comics A.M. | Disney reportedly tightening belt, mulling layoffs

The Walt Disney Co.

Business | Marvel parent The Walt Disney Co., which just purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, reportedly has begun an internal cost-cutting review that could include layoffs in its studio and other divisions. The cutbacks are believed to focus on jobs that are no longer needed because of technological advancements and redundancies created by the acquisition of Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012. Disney has made a series of staff cutbacks over the past couple of years, beginning in January 2011 with 200 jobs in its interactive division; Marvel trimmed about a dozen positions in October 2011. [Yahoo! Finance]

Publishing | Robert Stanley Martin takes a new look at Jim Shooter’s tenure as editor-in-chief of Marvel. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

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Kurtis Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins get their Hook into Peter Panzerfaust

Peter Panzerfaust, Vol. 2: Hooked

Peter Panzerfaust, the wartime reimagining of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins, has an irresistible hook (if you’ll pardon the expression): “Peter Pan versus the Nazis.” That’s perhaps what drew the attention of BBC Worldwide and Quality Transmedia, which are developing a motion comic based on the Shadowline/Image Comics series, with an eye toward a live-action adaptation.

However, there’s more to Peter Panzerfaust than a high-concept log line. Although the title, which debuted in February, has been characterized as historical fantasy, Wiebe and Jenkins have stripped away the fantastical elements — to date, there are no fairies or bird-nest boats — with Neverland replaced by France during the 1940 German invasion. Here, Barrie’s Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up is recast as a cocky and charismatic American teenager who rescues a group of orphans in war-torn Calais, transforming these Lost Boys into a rag-tag group of freedom fighters. They quickly added to their ranks the three Darling children, themselves orphaned in a plane crash, before joining up with Tiger Lily, Big Chief and the Braves, members of the French Resistance.

With Issue 8, in stores Jan. 9, arrives the iconic antagonist Captain Hook, whom Wiebe and Jenkins have re-envisioned as Kapitan Haken, the Nazi SS officer tasked with crushing the Resistance. Eagle-eyed readers will recall that Peter briefly crossed blades with Haken in Issue 3, stabbing the officer through the hand (presumably explaining the appearance of the trademark hook). He pledged that Peter would “live to regret this day,” and now he appears ready to follow through on that threat.

ROBOT 6 spoke with Wiebe and Jenkins about the development of Peter Panzerfaust, the decision to set the series against the backdrop of World War II, their refreshing take on Tiger Lily, and the major role for Captain Hook.

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Comics A.M. | Putting ‘Panel Parity’ into practice; JManga goes global

X-Club #3

Creators | Novelist and X-Club writer Simon Spurrier recounts how he gave up his seat on a panel at last weekend’s London Super ComicCon to creator Tammy Taylor, in the spirit of “Panel Parity”: “Paul’s idea is that you can’t expect true gender parity in comics unless you create the conditions to facilitate it. Even if one has to dabble in positive discrimination, even if one must expect outraged cries of ‘tokenism!,’ ‘political correctness gone mad!,’ ‘patronising cockcentric condescension!,’ it’s worth it. So Paul created a movement he called ‘Panel Parity’ in which he planned to exercise the only real power he has – like any of us in the weird world of industry conventions – to make a difference. Paul pledged that whenever he’s invited onto a panel which doesn’t feature at least 50% women, he’ll surrender his own seat to a female speaker. Even if that means tracking down someone less ‘well-suited’ to discussing the topic at hand than himself. Even if it means disappointing people in the crowd who travelled to the show specifically to see him talk. As long as Said SheGuest is able to contribute in some way to the conversation, Paul feels her presence on stage is more valuable than his own. Which is a brave and important and splendid thing to say.” [Simon Spurrier]

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Comics A.M. | FBI shuts down Megaupload file-sharing site


Legal | The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI on Thursday shut down the popular file-sharing site Megaupload, seized $50 million in assets and charged its founder and six others with running an international enterprise based on Internet piracy that’s cost copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The FBI has begun extradition proceedings in New Zealand to bring company founder Kim Schmitz, aka Kim DotCom, to the United States. He and three other associates are being held without bail until Monday, when they’ll receive a new hearing. Three others remain at large. They face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

News of the shutdown was met with retaliation by the hacker collective Anonymous, which attacked the websites of the Justice Department and the Motion Picture Association of America.

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