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Following a two-month fight with Walmart, cartoonist Jeph Jacques has shut down his parody site walmart.horse and turned over the domain name to the retail giant.
Launched in February, the website consisted solely of the above image, created from two public-domain photos superimposed on one another. The idea came to the cartoonist after he saw a list of new Top Level Domains, domain-name extensions that reflect specific interest. “The idea behind the site started out as a conversation with a friend of mine,” he explained in March. “We were extremely amused by the new .horse TLD and decided to register a bunch of ridiculous domain names with it.”
Jeph Jacques, creator of the long-running webcomic Questionable Content, may have come up with the website walmart.horse on a whim, but global retail leviathan isn’t amused. In fact, Walmart has demanded the cartoonist, well, stop horsing around.
Jacques explained to Ars Technica that the webpage was inspired by the latest batch of Top Level Domains, domain-name extensions that reflect different interests. “The idea behind the site started out as a conversation with a friend of mine — we were extremely amused by the new .horse TLD and decided to register a bunch of ridiculous domain names with it,” he said.
One of these was walmart.horse; the page consists entirely of the image above, which itself is composed of two public-domain photos superimposed on one another. Jacques calls it “postmodern Dadaism — nonsense-art using found objects.”
Variety reports that Kickstart Comics, an imprint of Netter’s film and TV company Kickstart Entertainment, will be overseen by prolific writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti and AiT/PlanetLar owner Larry Young. The Hollywood trade also said the company has already entered into distribution pact with several major retailers, including Walmart, to produce at least 24 new books over a year. The initial plan is to release four books a month for six months starting this fall.
“This is a way to introduce comic books to a broader audience,” Netter told the trade.
Read the full story over at Variety for more. As they say, this one is developing …
Update: I asked Young about the announcement, and he responded: “At AiT, we’ve worked with Jason at Kickstart for many years. Loved shooting the NOBODY pilot for ABC Family up in Vancouver with him, and we have very similar sensibilities when it comes to graphic novels, so I’m really looking forward to helping the Kickstart team bring a mainstream entertainment experience to comics.”
And from Palmiotti: “I have been working with Jason and Samantha for years since they sold Painkiller Jane to sci-fi and have been writing books for them as well like Back to Brooklyn, and Random Acts of Violence. They asked me to freelance edit some books for them and help them along the way and its been great ever since. I am still writing for them, as well, they are out selling my properties like The Pro and Ballerina and we have enjoyed a great working relationship together.”
Update 2: Here’s the company’s website, which features preview art for upcoming books like Bombhead by B. Clay Moore and Kevin Mellon; Mirror, Mirror by Joshua Williamson and Lee Moder; and Hero Complex by Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin and Javi Fernandez.