I was going to open with some snotty Wow, the holidays went by super-quickly! comment, but then I read the first issue of Justice League in seven weeks. Sometimes DC gets ahead of itself; sometimes it’s a little behind. Happens to the best of us — sometimes you do two solicitation roundups in three weeks….
Anyway, with the January solicitations, the New-52 books each turn five issues old. Series wrapping up their first arcs this month include Blackhawks, Batwoman, Animal Man, and the Deadman feature in DC Universe Presents. (Not to worry about the latter, because there is a lot of Deadman in these solicits.) I’m not sure why five issues is such a wonky number for story arcs — there are five-issue miniseries all the time and they collect just fine. Still, I expected most of the New-52 books to take six issues for their introductory stories, and most of them may yet do that. Only a few books look to finish their first arcs after December’s issue #4s (Hawkman and Frankenstein, probably OMAC, maybe Batgirl), and those plus this month’s are barely an eighth of the relaunched line. It makes next month’s solicits more intriguing, I suppose.
Regardless, we live in the now (as it were…) so — onward to January!
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DC editor Chris Conroy took over DC’s Twitter feed today, and he’s been sharing concept art, pages and tidbits about some of his books all day. Conroy edits Superboy, Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Legion of Super-Heroes and Demon Knights, and here are a few of the tidbits he’s shared:
–Mike Choi will draw Demon Knights #4 (that’s his cover at the top of the post).
–Walt Simonson will draw Legion of Super-Heroes #5.
–The red-head in Superboy #1 is who most people seem to think it is.
–Cliff Chiang’s original artwork from Wonder Woman will be on display at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn beginning Sept. 24.
–Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder have “big plans” for when Animal Man and Swamp Thing meet up.
And after the jump you’ll find a whole bunch of art, which I’ll update if he posts more.
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading? This week it is our distinct pleasure to welcome our very special guest Bully, the little stuffed bull, who blogs about all sorts of comics with the help of his friend, John DiBello.
To see what Bully and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click on the link below.
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Von Allan, creator of the self-published graphic novel series Stargazer. The first volume is still available, while the second one is due in shops in October.
To see what Von and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Publishing | Popular comic-book guest star President Barack Obama will make a brief appearance in this week’s Flashpoint #4. DC Comics Executive Editor Eddie Berganza told USA Today that the inclusion of the actual President, rather than a fictional counterpart, signals that the danger is real — something that will get pushed as the publisher prepares for the September relaunch. [USA Today]
Conventions | More than 31,000 anime and manga enthusiasts flocked to Baltimore over the weekend for Otakon, one of the biggest fan-oriented anime conventions. There were a few anime and manga licenses announced, but mainly it was a meet-and-greet for fans and publishers. [Anime News Network]
IDW Publishing has released a list of the items they’ll be selling at their booth at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, many of which are available for pre-order. The list includes advanced copies of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1, several Ashley Wood books, Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Baja ashcans, Locke & Key keys and much more. Check out the list below:
Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones
• Visitors to Comic-Con can purchase an exclusive advance copy of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1 with a variant cover; only 400 copies of this exclusive issue will be available.
• Beginning in August, the first issue of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones will tell of the demon Azriel, who sets out to find the murderer of a beautiful young woman in the streets of New York City, only to discover a far more sinister plot that could end the world. Once a human in ancient Babylon, Azriel is a spirit of rage and terror that gradually rediscovers his humanity through holy vengeance and spiritual love.
• Anne Rice will be signing at the IDW booth #2643 on Thursday July 21, 2011 during Comic-Con. With the purchase of a SERVANT OF THE BONES #1, fans will be able to have one additional item signed.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 (Comic-Con Edition $5.00, 32 pages, full color) will be available at the IDW booth #2643 during Comic-Con, while supplies last.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in comic stores in August 2011.
I already have one Cliff Chiang shirt in my wardrobe, and hopefully come San Diego I’ll have another — the above shirt from Epic Proportions, a Comic-Con exclusive. EP has a whole line of signature tees by artists like Walt Simonson and Geof Darrow, so hopefully this will just be the first of many from Chiang.
For more on the shirt and Chiang’s upcoming run on Wonder Woman, head over to PopCultureShock for an interview.
IDW Publishing announced this week that Walt Simonson’s The Mighty Thor Artist’s Edition is now available for pre-order from their site. And if you’re attending the San Diego Comic Con this year, not only can you elect to pick up your copy at the show, but you can also choose a limited edition version with the above variant cover.
“I wrote and drew The Mighty Thor for Marvel more 25 years ago now, at a time when it was the fate of old comics to be deployed to the back issue bins in comic shops and at conventions. No one had any expectations of reprints or trade collections. Now, it’s a new day,” said Simonson. “I’m pleased that IDW and Marvel have seen fit to go back and revisit this work as they have. I couldn’t be more delighted to know Thor, Beta Ray Bill, and all their friends turned out to have a much longer shelf-life than I would ever have imagined.”
Announced earlier this year at WonderCon, Walt Simonson’s The Mighty Thor Artist’s Edition collects seven issues of the creator’s run on the title — Thor #337-340, which saw the debut of Beta Ray Bill, as well as Thor #360-363, which featured Thor battling Hela and the death of the Executioner. Each page is shot from Simonson’s original art and was scanned in color to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art—so you’ll be able to see white-out corrections and blue pencil notations.
You can order the regular edition here and the variant cover edition, which is only available if you can pick it up in San Diego, here. Both editions cost $100. Simonson and his wife, comics writer Louise Simonson, will be at the IDW booth at the show.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
If I had $15:
I’d get Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish ($3.50) to see Hellboy fight some giant robots in space, Salt Water Taffy, Volume 4: Caldera’s Revenge ($5.99) to see Jack and Benny sign aboard a spooky ship in search of a Moby Dick-like whale, and Sweets #5 (2.99) to see Kody Chamberlain wrap up his delicious New Orleans murder mystery.
I promise this isn’t my last-minute attempt at an April Fool’s joke. IDW announced today that they will publish Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition, the first in a series of Artist’s Editions featuring comics form Marvel.
The oversized hardcover collection will include Thor #337-340, Simonson’s classic arc that saw the debut of Beta Ray Bill, as well as Thor #360-363, which saw Thor battle Hela and the death of the Executioner. The book will debut at the San Diego Comic Con this July.
“I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to be able to do a book like this,” said IDW Special Projects Editor Scott Dunbier. “Each page is shot from Walter Simonson’s original art and printed same size—really just too cool. Thanks to Marvel Entertainment for being so enthusiastic about this project from the start!”
You can find the entire press release after the jump.
The Hero Initiative’s latest “100 Covers” promotion focuses on the Avengers, and former Avengers scribe Walt Simonson has contributed a jam piece that mashes together the original Avengers with the crew he wrote circa issue #300 in the late 1980s. Most of these guys should look familiar to most comic fans, but the guy dressed like a minotaur is the Eternal known as The Forgotten One.
You can check out covers by John Romita, Whilce Portacio, Adam Kubert, Alan Davis and many, many more on the Hero Initiative website.
DC rolled out two more variant covers this week, as artists continue to provide their renditions of classic DC covers. Ironically, the two artists featured here are responsible for a good number of classic covers themselves.
First up, here’s Walt Simonson’s version of Jerry Robinson’s Detective Comics #69 cover, which will be a variant cover for Detective #866:
Via Wildstorm’s The Bleed blog, Walt Simonson provides a “split cover” for The Authority #21 and WildCats #22.
And here we are with our final round of responses from comic industry folks, after I asked them what they were looking forward to in 2010. You can find part one here and part two here. My thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to Tim O’Shea or myself.
A couple of quick thoughts from the old year and the new one:
1. I’m delighted a new YA novel in Gerald Morris ‘The Squire’s Tales’ series came out in September. ‘The Squire’s Quest’ is his first new novel in the series about Camelot and the Arthurian legends in several years. I’ve enjoyed the books immensely. I know. I know. It came out this year. Tough. I still couldn’t be more pleased.
2. I’ve been working on a long graphic novel for DC for awhile now (96 pages), should wrap it up in 2010 and really, I can’t wait! Catch me again in April or May and I’ll fill you in with some detail.
Walt Simonson’s work spans decades; he’s worked on comics like Thor, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Factor, Orion, Manhunter, Hawkgirl, World of Warcraft and his own Star Slammers, just to name a few. Earlier this year he donated this really awesome piece of original artwork for the auctions we did for our own Carla Hoffman, for which we will always be grateful.
1. Excited for a few things. The new Doctor (Who), Iron Man 2, and really excited for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. I’m not sure if Darwyn Cooke’s next Parker GN is going to be out next year, but I will be all over that the second it’s announced.
2. Excited for a few things of my own: Popgun 4, a secret project that I can’t announce at all, my new comic, STRAY, and getting FCHS Volume 1 out there in print.
I had a huge fanboy moment this week when I received this in my email from Walt Simonson:
Walt was kind enough to donate the piece to our auctions for our friends Carla and Lance Hoffman, who, according to their Facebook page, may be discharged soon. Lance’s sister offers an update, saying they were moved to Acute Rehab this past week, as their surgeries are done and healing well. Now they’re focused on rebuilding their strength and mobility via occupational and physical therapy.
You can bid on the Simonson artwork here, unless I beat you to it. And many thanks to Walt for the donation, and to Scott Dunbier for helping to make it happen.