"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Artist and Image Comics co-founder Whilce Portacio is returning to his roots with the launch of a comics studio in his native Philippines.
Portacio, who turns 50 this year, announced on his Facebook fan page that he’s conducting a talent search for artists to work alongside him in a “new kind of art studio” in Manila. The veteran artist, who’s worked in comics since 1984, is offering salaried positions for pencilers, inkers and colorists.
Graphic novels | Image Comics had a strong December in bookstores, snagging nine slots on BookScan’s Top 20 chart: Eight volumes of The Walking Dead (including the very first one, at No. 4), plus the first Saga collection, which was originally released in October 2012. The first two volumes of Attack on Titan, which are more than a year old, were also on the chart. [ICv2]
Legal | Colleen R. LaRose, aka “Jihad Jane,” was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for her role in a failed conspiracy to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who drew images of the Prophet Mohammed that offended many Muslims. [The New York Times]
Graphic novels | The seventh volume of Sailor Moon was the top-selling graphic novel in bookstores in September, according to BookScan, followed by Naruto,Vol. 58, an Avengers character guide, the third volume of Batman: Knightfall, and vol. 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise. ICv2 notes that, the Avengers book aside (and it is published by DK Publishing), Marvel is completely absent from the top ten, although DC makes a strong showing. [ICv2]
Creators | Hope Larson, who adapted Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time into graphic novel form, chats with Margaret Ferguson, her editor on the project. [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | Belgium, birthplace of Tintin and the Smurfs, is beginning to see its government-funded efforts to revive the country’s once-thriving comics scene pay off, with small publishing houses, self-publishers and digital comics portals springing up. [Deutsche Welle]
Creators | Habibi creator Craig Thompson posts an account of his recent trip to Jordan, which coincided with the troubles in Libya. Disconcertingly, he learned that Habibi is banned there, but his experiences in the schools and studios he visited stand in stark contrast to what the rest of us were watching—and even what he experienced while traveling from place to place. (Craig also gives a shout-out to a couple who got engaged while waiting in line to see him at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC; the groom-to-be concealed the ring in a hollowed-out copy of Blankets.) [Craig Thompson]
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and other things we’ve read this week. Today our special guest is Jason Green.
Jason Green is the editor of comics coverage for the St. Louis-based pop culture website PLAYBACK:stl, and a writer and editor for the comics collective Ink and Drink Comics, whose fourth release (a Western anthology titled Off the Wagon) will debut at this year’s C2E2.
To see what Jason and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Next week’s Incredible Hulk #2, solicited with Marc Silvestri as penciler, instead has six artists credited with pencils and finishes. Additionally, the original three inkers have grown to at least five. That’s 11 total artists for a 20-page story.
Taking advantage of an apparent glitch that made the issue briefly available last night on some comiXology platforms, Rich Johnston grabbed a screenshot of the credits box, which shows Silvestri joined as penciler by Whilce Portacio and Billy Tan. Michael Broussard and Eric Basaldua are credited with “pencil assists,” while Scott Hanna receives a nod for “finishes.” Solicited inkers Joe Weems, Jay Leisten and Don Ho, meanwhile, now receive help from Rick Basaldua and Crimelab Syndicate.
It’s unclear whether those changes will make The Incredible Hulk #2 returnable; the issue has yet to appear on Diamond Comic Distributors’ product changes list.
Announced in July at Comic-Con International, the new series from Silvestri and writer Jason Aaron debuted in October as Marvel’s highest-selling title, with an estimated 106,470 copies. Silvestri, who received pencil assists from Broussard on the debut issue, concludes his first arc with December’s Issue 3. Portacio will draw the fourth.
Comics | Flashpoint editor Eddie Berganza talks to USA Today about the midpoint of DC’s big summer event series and how it might tie into the September relaunch: “They’re starting to figure out where these 52 are coming from, and it’s staring them right in the face with Flashpoint. A lot of the concepts, a lot of the ideas, they’re cropping up within the pages. You have a book called Frankenstein in the Flashpoint world, and guess what, we’re doing Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE. You’ll see a couple of other background players start showing up that become more important as we go into September.” [USA Today]
Retailing | Borders Group warned investors on Tuesday against buying any more of the company’s stock as it soon could be worthless. If a federal bankruptcy court approves the $215-million opening bid submitted last week, the bookseller would become a subsidiary of the privately held Direct Brands, owner of the Book of the Month Club and Columbia House, meaning stock will no longer be traded. [The Detroit News]
The 13-issue series, which will be drawn by four different art teams, weaves together storylines from several Top Cow books, including Witchblade, The Darkness and Angelus. The story revolves around 13 mystical artifacts that, when brought together, would bring about mankind’s destruction. A mysterious figure aims to do just that.
“This arc was specially set up for me,” he told USA Today. “I like doing tech stuff, but I also like doing dark and moody. In this case, that moodiness revolves around supernatural stuff and that’s right up my alley. This was a chance for me to artistically examine technology versus spirituality.”
Another artist will take over the book with issue nine, and “a special guest artist” will draw the last issue. The series is written by Ron Marz.
Sure, Image co-founders Marc Silvestri and Whilce Portacio have teamed up in the past—most recently for the Robert Kirkman-penned mega-crossover Image United—but this is their noblest joint effort yet. The pair is auctioning off the above jam piece, starring Portacio’s Wetworks character Drew and Silvestri’s flagship heroine Witchblade, to raise money for flood relief in the Philippines.
The Southeast Asian nation was recently hit hard by back-to-back typhoons Ketsana and Parma, and the number of casualties and people left homeless by flooding is grim. But as reported by Comic Book Resources, the burgeoning Filipino comics scene—which includes such world-famous artists as Leinil Francis Yu, Francis Manapul, Philip Tan, and Carlo Pagulayan, plus a thriving national industry–is rallying to help raise much-needed funds for the victims. The effort has been led by Gerry Alanguilan, Yu’s frequent inker and a writer-artist in his own right, and the Silvestri/Portacio jam is just one of several items that will be made available through benefit auctions on Alanguilan’s eBay page. Go and bid, then check out Alanguilan’s blog for photos of the live relief auction he helped conduct this weekend at Manila’s Komikon 2009, plus more info on what else you can do to help.