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Publishers, creators, retailers and fans rolled into Chicago this weekend for the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2. While the convention officially kicked off Friday, the announcements started rolling out Thursday during the Diamond Retailer Summit. After going through Kiel Phegley’s lengthy report on CBR, I’ve pulled out a few tidbits that publishers shared with attending retailers:
• Dynamite Entertainment shared that the first issue of Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell’s The Shadow, which comes out next week, will likely go to second print. Following their Vampirella and Pantha projects, they also plan to roll out more of the former Harris Publications characters they now own, and they said they plan to work again with Kevin Smith in the future, who they’ve worked with on Bionic Man and Green Hornet.
• Dark Horse Comics announced two Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff miniseries; one featuring Spike and one featuring Willow (Editor Scott Allie spoke more about them with CBR). In addition, legendary artist Russ Heath will draw some pages in an upcoming issue of Buffy. Dark Horse will launch a new Dragon Age series in August, following the online miniseries that’s been running on Dark Horse Digital. They also confirmed that Becky Cloonan will return to Conan after James Harren’s three issues, and they announced Ex Sanguine, a five-issue miniseries by Tim Seeley and Josh Emmons. Finally, The Goon will go monthly with issue #40.
This interview with Joshua Hale Fialkov (creator of the acclaimed Elk’s Run from a few years ago and current noir work at Archaia, Tumor [which reunites Fialkov with his Elk’s Run artist Noel Tuazon]) took an interesting route before finally getting here. The initial interview started as a suggestion from Johanna Draper Carlson back in October 2008 (thanks, Johanna) and was intended for my pop culture blog, Talking with Tim. Fialkov was more than game to do the interview and we completed the initial interview in late 2008, right around the time I signed on to contribute my comics interviews to Robot 6. So, savvy, yet disorganized guy that I am, I set the interview aside–and promptly misplaced it. When news of Fialkov’s Tumor (available here for Kindle and here for free for those of without Kindles) started making the rounds, I realized my mistake and tracked the emails down. I contacted Fialkov (offering my sincere apologies) and he was kind enough to entertain new questions about Tumor. So please note, after the initial Tumor discussion, the interview moves on to the initial 2008 interview, which while it is understandably dated in some aspects, much of it is still quite engaging and relevant. My thanks to Fialkov for his understanding and for his time both in 2008 and 2009.
Tim O’Shea: How pleased have you been with Tumor’s Kindle sales? How much has the story’s word-of-mouth been boosted thanks to the website?
Joshua Hale Fialkov: Well, just using our placement in the ranks on Amazon, the fact that a Kindle only comic book can get up to be the 8th most ordered graphic novel on all of Amazon, including print, is pretty damn amazing. I think there’s a lot of reasons that we’re up there, including that we’re giving the first chapter away for free, but, still, that says to me that there’s an audience for comics on the device, and it’s one that in some ways may soon rival the audience for print comics. At least, for those readers who use Amazon to get their fix. My whole career has been built on a lot of goodwill, and from the support of friends and fans with big mouths and wide audiences, and, frankly, in a niche business like comics, that’s really how the whole thing works. What I hope to do is go the extra mile to really reward my readers, first with what I hope is excellent content, but secondly by giving them access to the stuff over on the website, including behind the scenes material, and special features that not only enhance their enjoyment of the book, but hopefully show them a side of the process they haven’t considered. To that end, there’s a healthy amount of traffic who make it over to the site every time we release an issue, so, I know that in some respects, it’s working.
Legendary Vampirella artist Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez has died after falling into a coma. He was 70 years old.
Born in Barcelona, Gonzalez broke into the comics business in 1956, working on Westerns and romances in France, Spain and Great Britain before moving on to Warren Publishing’s Vampirella, for which he was best known.
A statement from Harris Comics, the current owner of Vampirella, describes Gonzalez’s work as “thrilling, sensuous and beautiful. He brought the character to life, elevated her to an icon and, most deservedly, won over a legion of fans who have never forgotten him. To this day, many would say his was the definitive rendition of the character.”
A more detailed biography of Gonzalez, and a gallery of his work, can be found here.