In just three months, we will be pretty entrenched into the new NOW! of Marvel. So far, so good, right? Can’t say that they’ve all been hits, but considering the alternative (*cough*reboot*cough*), I’d say we’re doing pretty well.
Will this be an era that’s looked back at as a radical change in publishing and a landmark era of storytelling for Marvel? I get the feeling that a lot of people are hoping so, most of them in marketing. This is a fresh face for the Marvel brand, and we should be looking at a moment that will be well-documented by journalists, historians and (more importantly to the layman) comic book price guides. Sadly, my precognitive powers are only available in March solicitations, so let’s look at those and see what NOW! will look like then. Or THEN! I’m not sure.
First, let’s talk about the trades. I rarely get to do so because they’re always at the bottom and there’s normally a huge amount of comics to sort through and events to define before we reach the reasonable road of the trade paperback. But in March, Marvel NOW! will officially be the final status quo on the shelves, so we’ll begin a steady stream of trades for major titles in hardcover and softcover format.s The first volumes of Uncanny Avengers, Iron Man and Avengers will be out in hardcover, with Fantastic Four, Red She-Hulk and X-Men: Legacy getting softcover editions; I think the change in format probably has to do with the price of the original issues.
Events | Richard Pachter surveys the graphic novel scene at Miami Book Fair International, which this year will include appearances by Chris Ware, Derf Backderf, Marjorie Liu, Dan Parent and Chip Kidd, among others. [The Miami Herald]
Events | A group of Canadian creators and publishers are in Tokyo right now for the International Comics Festa, where they are selling an anthology that includes work by Darwyn Cooke, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Seth. Manga blogger Deb Aoki is there too, and she has all the details. [About.com]
Just last month, a pelvis-thrusting Deadpool got in on the “Gangnam Style” craze, encouraging passersby to dance with him to Psy’s inescapable (and undeniably catchy) tune. But as entertaining as that video is, it pales in comparison to this photo the South Korean rapper tweeted today of himself doing the now-famous horse-riding dance with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman — complete with claws — on the
Japanese Australian set of Fox’s The Wolverine. Or, as the actor describes it, “Slicing gangnam style!!!!”
Jackman, of course, is no stranger to song and dance, having starred in Carousel, The Boy from Oz and Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway. Before beginning work on The Wolverine, he wrapped production on the musical drama adaptation Les Misérables.
The New York Comic Con officially kicked off this afternoon, with fans eager to get inside and publishers eager to begin releasing news into the wild. So let’s see if we can’t herd some of those announcements together. Here’s a round-up from today:
• DC Comics Co-Publisher and artist extraordinaire Jim Lee will team with Batman scribe Scott Snyder on a new Superman title next year, just in time for the Man of Steel’s return to the silver screen. “This will play along with the other Superman books in the sense that it’s in continuity, but we really wanted to carve out our own territory,” Snyder told CBR. “This really is sort of the biggest, most epic Superman story we could do together while having our feet planted firmly in continuity and making sure that everyone had enough room.”
DC also unveiled a Kia Optima that features a Batman design by Jim Lee.
• Marvel announced three more Season One graphic novels: Iron Man, written by Howard Chaykin with art by Gerard Parel; Thor by writer Matthew Sturges and artist Pepe Larraz; and Wolverine, written by the team of Ben Blacker and Ben Acker, with art by Salva Espin. Also, Cullen Bunn returns to Deadpool with Deadpool Killustrated, a miniseries that pits the Merc with a Mouth against Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes, Beowulf, Don Quixote and more. Spoiler alert: he’s gonna kill them.
Today at New York Comic Con, Marvel announced it’s expanding its Season One line with three graphic novels recounting the early days Iron Man, Thor and Wolverine. They join a lineup that already includes volumes devoted to the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Daredevil, the Hulk, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange.
Launched in February, Season One features current creators retelling classic superhero tales. For instance, with Wolverine: Season One writers Ben Blacker and Ben Acker (Supernatural, The Thrilling Adventure Hour) and artist Salva Espin take Logan back to key moments in the hirsute mutant’s storied history.
“We get to tell the most iconic ‘early days’ story Wolverine has: his encounter with Wendigo and The Hulk,” Acker told Marvel.com. “This story is about the first time Logan put on his classic yellow and black suit and got the code name Wolverine.”
Thor: Season One is written by Matthew Sturges and illustrated by Pepe Larraz, while Iron Man: Season One pairs Howard Chaykin with artist Gerard Parel.
Check out previews from the three books, and keep following Robot 6 and Comic Book Resources for more New York Comic Con news.
Back in July Michael linked to a couple of shirt designs by Kerry Callen (one of our favorites) that were up on Threadless for scoring. Both were eventually printed by Threadless; the female version was available in limited quantities at the Cincinnati Comic Expo, while the male version is available now on the Threadless site.
Amanda Visell has created an amazing series of one-of-a-kind hand-painted wood idols featuring characters ranging from Wonder Woman and Thor to Lion-O and … Michael Jackson from Thriller. Each comes with its own equally amazing hand-painted wood box.
While some of the idols already have been sold, several of them are still available. For $800 each. If I had that kind of extra cash, I’d buy that Thor figure in a heartbeat. Alas, I do not. You can see that figure, as well as Batman and Superman, below. The full lineup (including more angles of each idol) can be found on Visell’s website.
KSL TV reports the 19-year-old man from Vernal, Utah, was charged Friday with aggravated assault after police say he went after his 20-year-old roommate with a knife and the aforementioned claws — which, luckily for the alleged victim, were likely made from solid machined aluminum and not adamantium.
According to police, the roommate sustained five or six wounds to the head, two to his arm, multiple wounds to his hands and another deep one to the thigh. Although court documents indicate he told officers at the emergency room that he had been in a fight with a group of strangers, he came clean after police found blood at his home.
So what could’ve led to the altercation? A disagreement over the first appearance of Logan’s Patch alias? A dispute over who would win in a fight, Wolverine or Daken? If I had to take a wild guess, it might — might! — have something to do with the roommate dating Huff’s mother, who was also stabbed as she tried to pull her son off the alleged victim. The two men have been “best friends since they were younger,” police say.
Huff was released from the Uintah County Jail after posting $10,000 bail. He’ll appear in court Sept. 10.
If you’re looking for some comic relief from the heat and the pre-Comic-Con stress, do yourself a favor and read “Spring Break Wolverine,” a completely unauthorized, and totally terrific, comic by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez that’s already been dubbed a “love letter to Wolverine.” As the title hints, the eight-page story that finds Logan entering a Daytona Beach bar at precisely the wrong time — spring break — to hilarious, and bloody, results.
Check out some of the pages below, and visit the Spring Break Wolverine blog to read the entire story. Note, however, that it’s not entirely safe for work.
When Colleen Coover posted her version of a weird tryout page featuring Wolverine and Freddie Mercury, she expressed hope that other artists would follow her example. And they have.
Coover’s been curating a small gallery of Wolverine/Mercury pages, and she would love to add more to it. What I like is how the artists already on display have taken to heart the potential that Coover initially saw in the meme. In that first post, she talked about the questions raised by the nonsensical story: What’s Wolverine looking for? Why does Freddie Mercury appear? “I have decided to explore these mysteries by recreating the original story, ” she wrote, and went on to say, “I invite other artists to do the same, by which exercise we may one day come close to the fictional Truth of the matter.”
The artists she found have done that too, not just recreating the page, but also explicitly answering some of those questions. It’s a fun look at not only varying stylistic takes on a single page of art, but also the way different people tell the same story, usually with hilarious results. For instance: I’m dying to spoil Andrew Meyerhoefe’s page for you, but I’ll resist and let you enjoy it for yourself.
Obsessed with an odd sample page found by Steve Bunche a couple of years ago, Colleen Coover has improved on it in an attempt to understand just what Wolverine is doing and why Freddie Mercury is hanging out in the middle of those woods. You can see both pages in their entirety at Coover’s blog as well as some speculation about what the heck’s going on (spoiler: Rich Ellis wins), but what Coover really hopes will come of this is that other artists will join her in their own reinterpretations of the page.
That’s my hope too. Not that I want to put anyone under pressure.
If the first day of the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo was dominated by announcements from Dark Horse and DC Comics, then the second day belonged to Marvel, which followed through on its teaser for a new series, revealed an Icon relaunch, and shuffled some creators. Here are some of the highlights from Saturday (along with a couple of holdovers from Friday):
• As usual, the “Cup O’ Joe” panel was where Marvel rolled out its biggest publishing announcements, beginning with confirmation that the teaser released last week is indeed for a Hawkeye ongoing series reuniting The Immortal Iron Fist collaborators Matt Fraction and David Aja. In the title, which debuts in August, Clinton Barton will be accompanied by fan-favorite Young Avenger Kate Bishop as he fights organized crime in New York City. “It’s very Avengers, by which I mean John Steed and Emma Peel. There’s a whole healthy person between the two of them,” Fraction told Comic Book Resources. “There’s a line in Rocky where he says, ‘I got bumps. You got bumps. Together we fit,’ or something like that — the two of them fit together. Each one has what the other doesn’t, which means they work very well together. She’s young, incredibly gifted, incredibly cultured, and incredibly headstrong. She doesn’t suffer his crap and also wants to be someone worthwhile, but she’s trying to figure out how to make that possible. She follows him not because of his abilities, but his accomplishments. So they work together quite well. It’s an apprentice and master style relationship.”
One of the things a lot of pros like about C2E2 is the late start on Friday. It doesn’t open to the public until 1:00 pm, so creators can sleep in and recover from their trips if they want. Or, if they want to go early to set up or just walk around and visit with each other, they can do that too. It’s also helpful for press jerks taking lots of pictures. Lots. Of pictures.
When you stop and think who are Marvel’s top creators working today, your mind is invariably drawn to Brian Michael Bendis, as he’s become the chief writer for the company’s top titles over the past decade. But there’s someone else who’s played a big role, working side-by-side with Bendis and others to help create what Marvel is in the 21st century: artist Mike Deodato Jr.
The Brazilian-born artist came into modern memory as one of the primary artists on J. Michael Straczynski’s Amazing Spider-Man run, then jumped to revitalize Thunderbolts before teaming with Bendis on New Avengers. Over the years Deodato has worked with Bendis on some of the biggest books Marvel’s had to offer, be it New Avengers or Dark Avengers. And while writers seem to get the lion’s share of attention in the press, the story of Deodato’s career is something most people don’t know about.
Deodato first onto the comics scene in the mid-’90s with an Image-inspired style on DC’s Wonder Woman, and quickly became one of the workhorse artists of the era. But after being stretched to his limits both personally and professionally, Deodato withdrew from comics for a time to refocus himself and find a style better suited to how he saw comics. Drawing on inspirations from icons like Neal Adams and his own father, an accomplished cartoonist in Brazil, Deodato re-emerged in 2001 at Marvel and steadily rose up the ranks to become one of the company’s most trusted artists with a style far removed from everyone else working today.
I talked with Deodato from his home in Brazil about his career, his personal life, and his real real name.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop 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 a splurge item.
It’s not even a fifth week, but I find myself curiously distanced from this week’s releases for some reason. Outside of some books I’ve been reading for awhile, there’s little to really catch my eye, so if I had $15, I’d likely find myself buying Dark Horse Presents #10 (Dark Horse, $7.99) and Memorial #4 (IDW, $3.99), and being quite happy with those two books.
If I had $30, I might go back to Justice League with #7 (DC, $3.99); I wasn’t entirely convinced by the opening arc, but I found myself enjoying the Pandora back-up in #6 enough that I found myself more curious about sticking around than I would’ve expected. I’d also grab Legion of Super-Heroes #7 (DC, $2.99), another book I’ve found myself liking more than I initially thought, as well as Thunderbolts #171 (Marvel, $2.99) for one of the few, final times before it becomes a part of the Avengers family.
Splurging, oddly, is a much easier choice for me than what I’d get in single issues: Avengers: West Coast Avengers – Lost In Space-Time (Marvel, $34.99) collects some of the first issues of West Coast Avengers that I read way back when, launching a love affair with Steve Englehart’s writing that continues to this day. Those original issues are long since lost to history (Somewhat fittingly, considering the time travel subject matter), so this will be a welcome nostalgia trip for me.