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26. Review: Convergence #3, This Cold War Starts to Warm Up

CONVERGENCE #3

Convergence (2015) 003-000

Story: Jeff King

Art: Stephen Segovia

Colors: Aspen MLT

Inks: Jason Paz

Letters: Travis Lanham

Publisher: DC Comics

 

We’re about a quarter of the way through DC Comics event, Convergence. So far we’ve seen a lot of xenophobic worlds bent on destroying one another at the behest of Brianiac’s global caretaker Telos in all the satellite books. Seeing, literally, the exact same threatening words from Telos in multiple books is making that premise wear a bit thin. The event’s spine series has a little more going on than those titles, but we’re at a point where Convergence needs to punch it to fifth gear. So why is it starting to feel like it’s stuck in second?

After saving the mysterious Deimos in the last issue, the survivors of Earth-2 will follow him to the bowels of the planet in order to discover the key to stopping Telos evil multiversal Tijuana cockfight. Meanwhile, Dick Grayson and Thomas Wayne who, without spoiling events, are in for the fight of their lives against a small army of Bruce Wayne’s most formidable nemeses. It’s this part of the story that carries the tension and climax of this chapter to an ending that, while predictable, is so far the series biggest moment.

Sure there are a few problems with the pacing and dialogue in the issue. In fact, it feels like Convergence #3 is unintentionally a two-act book with it not introducing anything new. There’s a heavy sense of over explaining things in the front half of the book while the second half moves too quick to the dramatic finish. I can forgive most of these problems because Stephen Segovia’s art is lavish action. The fight scenes and scale of Convergence have been on point art wise for the series, but the plot needs to keep up or it runs the risk of becoming ineffectual.

Convergence (2015) 003-005

Convergence began with surprising promise from its zero issue. It played on the powerful force of nostalgia to get readers in touch with parts of the DC universe they’ve sorely missed. While powerful, nostalgia alone can’t carry an event. Issue three moves the narrative along more than any chapter thus far, but for being this far in, with this many orbiting tie-in books; the stakes need to have more weight by better defining the threat of Telos. If it’s not an Earth 2: Society post Convergence prequel, it needs to start showing it by actually having the different Earths start doing something.

1 Comments on Review: Convergence #3, This Cold War Starts to Warm Up, last added: 4/24/2015
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27. Common takes another stab at the DC Universe for Suicide Squad

common-5

It’s time to hop in the “Way Way Back Machine”, all the way to 2007 when Mad Max mastermind George Miller had lined up his cast for Warner Bros’ first attempt at a big screen interpretation of the Justice League. Entitled Justice League: Mortal, Miller’s film would have seen new versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, and Green Lantern team up to take on Max Lord. The important part of the tale: in the role of Green Lantern was Hip Hop Artist Common, who at the time only had one film and a few television appearances to his credit.

Justice League: Mortal died on the vine after entering pre-production, being tabled due to shooting location tax issues and poor buzz surrounding the script. Once The Dark Knight happened, it was all basically forgotten anyway.

Common went on to become an Oscar winning songwriter and appear in a number of films since, as well as having a starring role in the AMC drama Hell on Wheels. But, as Henry Cavill learned when he was cast as Superman after losing out on the role the first time to Brandon Routh, if a studio is hot on you, there’s always a chance they’ll find another spot.

Thusly, THR is reporting that Common has been cast in Suicide Squad in an undisclosed role. Production has already begun on the picture in Toronto, and the cast had their initial table read of the script already, so it’s possible that his role is not a particularly large one (for this film anyway) or the script is being rewritten to accommodate him. Who really knows? Bronze Tiger has been the popular guess among the superhero movie beat, but that seems like too easy a guess.

Perhaps John Stewart is making a pre-Justice League appearance? Wouldn’t that be funny?

Suicide Squad opens on August 5, 2016. Common is repped by CAA and Myman Greenspan.

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28. DC and partners to launch DC Super Hero Girls universe for girls

DC Super Hero Girls.jpg

Updated with art, above.

Little girls like superheroes! At least that’s what WB’s hopes with a while new universe created just for girls aged 6-12. As announced in a news blast the new line will come with heavy hitting partners, including Mattel, which will launch its first ever action figures for girls, Random House and Lego. Dolls for girls! Inconceivable!

While the news is a stunner for the long boy-focused DC Entertainment line, with the swift evolution of comics to a co-ed undertaking, it’s only good business. Plus, if you hang around Disney long enough you’ll notice two things: #1 girl-based licensing programs like Disney Princesses make billions of dollars. #2 people like superheroes.

Put em both together and you MIGHT have a winner.

The last time DC went after girls proper was the ill-fated Minx line, which launched in 2006 with a line of short graphic novels aimed at girls. Creative teams that were mostly male and distribution confusion made this generally a non-starter, but it was definitely ahead of its time. In years past pundit after pundit has wondered why there is no Wonder Woman program for young girls, as the aspirational nature of the character makes it a no brainer, and merch sells well to moms already. Well, the wondering is over.

In addition the announcement makes it clear that the “bildungsroman” genre will be well represented here—and so the giant pile of rejected “young Diana” pitches over the years from Tintin Pantoja, Ben Caldwell and many more are now ahead of their time.

One thing’s for certain: West Coast DC is going to be a VERY VERY DIFFERENT PLACE than East Coast DC.

PR below:

WARNER BROS. AND DC ENTERTAINMENT

Beginning in Fall 2015, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel join forces to launch DC Super Hero Girls, an exciting new universe of Super Heroic storytelling that helps build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential. Featuring DC Comics’ most powerful and diverse line-up of female characters as relatable teens, DC Super Hero Girls will play out across multiple entertainment content platforms and product categories to create an immersive world.
Developed for girls aged 6-12, DC Super Hero Girls centers on the female Super Heroes and Super-Villains of the DC Comics universe during their formative years—prior to discovering their full super power potential. Featuring a completely new artistic style and aesthetic, DC Comics’ icons such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more make their unprecedented teenaged introduction. Each character has her own storyline that explores what teen life is like as a Super Hero, including discovering her unique abilities, nurturing her remarkable powers and mastering the fundamentals of being a hero.
“DC Entertainment is home to the most iconic and well-known Super Heroes including Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment. “DC Super Hero Girls represents the embodiment of our long-term strategy to harness the power of our diverse female characters. I am so pleased that we are able to offer relatable and strong role models in a unique way, just for girls.”
The initial launch of DC Super Hero Girls in Fall 2015 will include an immersive digital experience, original digital content and digital publishing—providing opportunities for girls to interact with characters, learn about the storylines, and engage in customizable play. TV specials, made-for-videos, toys, apparel, books and other product categories will begin to rollout in 2016.
“Developing a Super Hero franchise exclusively for girls that includes all of the key components of a comprehensive entertainment experience—from content to consumer products—is something we are excited to be doing in conjunction with our great partners,” said Brad Globe, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “It’s really an honor to be part of this cultural moment and to be delivering a concept so rooted in a relatable and empowered theme that the characters of DC Comics are uniquely able to present.”
As master toy licensee, Mattel is collaborating with DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Consumer Products on DC Super Hero Girls’ narrative creation, interactive digital activations and ultimately a toy line launching in 2016. Mattel category-leading firsts include a line of characters for the action figure category, an area of the industry that has been primarily developed with boys in mind, and fashion dolls featuring strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses.
“Partnering with the best and being the best partner is of paramount importance,” said Richard Dickson, President, Chief Operating Officer, Mattel. “Together with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the DC Super Hero Girls franchise will further expand our already powerful girls portfolio. We know Super Hero is a culturally relevant theme and the DC Super Hero Girls franchise will engage and inspire girls, providing cues to explore heroic acts through play and into real life.”
The Random House Books for Young Readers imprint of Random House Children’s Books has been appointed the master publishing partner for the franchise and will be creating a portfolio of books that will bring the DC Super Hero Girls world to life, beginning in Spring 2016. Random House’s publishing program will be complemented by a series of original graphic novels from DC Entertainment. The LEGO Group will also be key to building the DC Super Hero Girls franchise, leveraging their experience and success engaging girls in creative construction play to bolster this universe through an array of LEGO® building sets designed to inspire girls’ imaginations. Additionally, consumer products partners around the world will be engaged in creating a merchandise line dedicated to DC Super Hero Girls across all key categories.






wonder woman childs costume halloween

10 Comments on DC and partners to launch DC Super Hero Girls universe for girls, last added: 4/23/2015
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29. Entertainment Round-Up: Joss Whedon praises Edgar Wright, Star Trek 3 has a possible title, and more

joss whedon

After yesterday’s Valiant and Daredevil news items and today’s Eisner nominations, you’d think we could shut the door down on news for a while. But, surprise surprise, there’s still a few other items of note, here’s the rundown:

Joss Whedon, while on the press circuit for next week’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, held court with Buzzfeed, and in a pretty revealing interview about his time at Marvel that is well worth reading, he happened to elaborate on his feelings regarding Edgar Wright‘s departure from Ant-Man:

I thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script I’d read. I had no interest in Ant-Man. [Then] I read the script, and was like, Of course! This is so good! It reminded me of the books when I read them. Irreverent and funny and could make what was small large, and vice versa. I don’t know where things went wrong. But I was very sad. Because I thought, This is a no-brainer. This is Marvel getting it exactly right. Whatever dissonance that came, whatever it was, I don’t understand why it was bigger than a marriage that seemed so right. But I’m not going to say it was definitely all Marvel, or Edgar’s gone mad! I felt like they would complement each other by the ways that they were different. And, uh, somethin’ happened.

One you hear Whedon make a statement like that, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been (not that many weren’t already). I’ve long held that parting ways with Edgar Wright was one of the biggest missteps Marvel has made thus far and the loss of his idiosyncratic take on Scott Lang would be felt pretty heavily come this July. But, movies have to be seen before you can judge them, and we’ll find out soon enough.

On that note, Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently sitting at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with 49 reviews in. If that score holds, it’ll put the film just below Iron Man (93%), The Avengers (92%), Guardians of the Galaxy (91%), and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (89%) in the Marvel canon, if you care about that kind of thing.

– One more Ultron related note, those of you who are aspiring to be professionals in the field of journalism may not want to follow the example set by Krishnan Guru-Murthy from Britain’s Channel 4 news, whose junket press questions caused Robert Downey Jr. to walk out of the interview:

Seriously, save the hard hitting stuff for when it’s warranted and expected, not in promotional interviews for a superhero film.

– The third Star Trek film in the rebooted franchise now has a rumored title: Star Trek Beyond. The rumor comes via TrekMovie who discovered Paramount’s recent MPAA registration of the title. To be honest, I don’t love it, but it’s also a good sight better than Star Trek Into Darkness, which was an awful pun. At the very least, perhaps this ensures that exploration will be the key factor for the new Star Trek entry.

– With True Detective Season 2 just a couple of months away, HBO has released some ominous looking motion posters via the show’s official twitter feed:

 

Creepy stuff!

– And finally, in a fun little piece, here’s what this Summer’s big blockbuster releases would look like in 90’s VHS form. Oh, do I ever miss Blockbuster, until I think about the late fees and scrambling to get the latest video tapes.

0 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Joss Whedon praises Edgar Wright, Star Trek 3 has a possible title, and more as of 4/22/2015 8:03:00 PM
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30. Dynamite sends Red Sonja to #1973 for an anthology

RS1973-Cov-A-Benes.jpg

What is Dynamite’s announcement for today? A Red Sonja one shot reuniting talents from her run since her 1973 debut, including Roy Thomas, Gail Simone, Luke Lieberman, and Eric Trautmann, along with writer Cullen Bunn and artists Dave Acosta and Rich Buckler. Because when it’s a character’s 42nd birthday, it’s time to celebrate with classic brokeback.

Here’s a startling fact: Although most often associated with the Conan the Barbarian oeuvre, Red Sonja, as “The She-Devil with a Sword” was actually created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith in an issue of Conan. The character was based on a short story by Conan creator Robert E. Howard called “The Shadow of the Vulture” that featured a character called red Sonya of Rogatine. It was Thomas who figured out how to add her to the Conan mythos.

“It’s been very gratifying to me to witness the popularity of Red Sonja over the past four decades,” Thomas recalled. “It was a lucky day when I read a fan-article about Robert E. Howard that mentioned a story in which one of his historical heroes fought alongside a “Russian hell-cat” or whatever precisely the phrase was (her name wasn’t mentioned in the article), so that I obtained a copy of the long out-of-print story from the estate’s literary agent, Glenn Lord, and read it: ‘The Shadow of the Vulture.’ Red Sonya of Rogatine clearly had possibilities as a sometime companion/opponent for Conan in Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian comic, so I changed her name to the (to me) slightly more exotic Red Sonja, thereby making her a somewhat new character and adapted ‘Shadow’ as an issue of Conan.  From that time on, she had a life of her own. Barry Windsor-Smith was inspired to do great things with her in the two Conan issues we did together in which she co-starred. Esteban Maroto, over in Spain, couldn’t resist giving her a different look, which came to be called ‘the iron bikini’ after I decided that should be what she wore from then on. John Buscema and Howard Chaykin did a handful of nice stories with her. Frank Thorne came aboard to virtually make her his own. And that was just in the 1970s! I suspect Red Sonja will be around for a long, long time!”

The Red Sonja #1973 one shot goes on sale in July.

3 Comments on Dynamite sends Red Sonja to #1973 for an anthology, last added: 4/23/2015
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31. 2015 Eisner Awards nominees announced: Ms Marvel, Saga, Bandette and Multiversity lead

Ms._Marvel_2_Molina_Variant

The 2015 Eisner Award nominations are out, and let the debate begin. It was the Year of the Woman but also the year of the returning hero, as such new hits as Ms. Marvel, Bandette and Saga les this year’s Eisner award nominations; but some old warhese and variations on the same also got  multiple recognition including Astro City, Sandman: Overture and IDW’s Little Nemo in Slumberland. (Locust Moon’s oversized volume also got two noms.)  DC/Vertigo led 14 solo nominations and 4 shared. Marvel had 12 solo, 6 shared and Fantagraphics 15.

In perhaps a little bit of a surprise, the year’s most honored books–Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki and Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and KerasCöeet—garnered one nomination each.

In non-news, Todd Klein was nominated for Best Letterer and Alex Ross for Best Cover Artist.

This year’s judging panel—comics retailer Carr DeAngelo (Earth-2 Comics, Los Angeles, CA), librarian/educator Richard Graham (University of Nebraska–Lincoln), Eisner Award–winning author Sean Howe (Marvel Comics: The Untold Story), educator/author Susan Kirtley (Portland State University), Comic-Con International committee member Ron McFee, and writer/editor Maggie Thompson (Comic-Con’s Toucan blog, Diamond’s Scoop newsletter)—deleted one category this year, Best Adaptation from Another Medium.

Voting will be held online and the awards presented Friday, July 10 at Comic-Con International.

 

Best Short Story

“Beginning’s End,” by Rina Ayuyang, muthamagazine.com
“Corpse on the Imjin!” by Peter Kuper, in Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World (Simon & Schuster)
“Rule Number One,” by Lee Bermejo, in Batman Black and White #3 (DC)
“The Sound of One Hand Clapping,” by Max Landis & Jock, in Adventures of Superman #14 (DC)
“When the Darkness Presses,” by Emily Carroll, http://emcarroll.com/comics/darkness/



Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

Astro City #16: “Wish I May” by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo/DC)
Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
Madman in Your Face 3D Special, by Mike Allred (Image)
Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1 (Marvel)
The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely (DC)



 Best Continuing Series

Astro City, by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo)
Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction & David Aja (Marvel)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image)
The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)




 Best Limited Series

Daredevil: Road Warrior, by Mark Waid & Peter Krause (Marvel Infinite Comics)
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Garbriel Rodriguez (IDW)
The Multiversity, by Grant Morrison et al. (DC)
The Private Eye, by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)
The Sandman: Overture, by Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III (Vertigo/DC)



 Best New Series

The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image)
Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona (Marvel)
Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (Image)



 Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

BirdCatDog, by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch (Lerner/Graphic Universe)
A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories, by John Martz (Koyama Press)
Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories, edited by Traci N. Todd & Elizabeth Kawasaki (VIZ)
Mermin, Book 3: Deep Dives, by Joey Weiser (Oni)
The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke (First Second)



 Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

Batman Li’l Gotham, vol. 2, by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen (DC)
El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
I Was the Cat, by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey (Oni)
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse, by Art Baltazar & Franco (DC)



 Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

Doomboy, by Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press)
The Dumbest Idea Ever, by Jimmy Gownley (Graphix/Scholastic)
Lumberjanes, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Meteor Men, by Jeff Parker & Sandy Jarrell (Oni)
The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew (First Second)
The Wrenchies, by Farel Dalrymple (First Second)




Best Humor Publication

The Complete Cul de Sac, by Richard Thompson (Andrews McMeel)
Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. by Jim Benton (NBM)
Groo vs. Conan, by Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier, & Tom Yeates (Dark Horse)
Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel)
Superior Foes of Spider-Man, by Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber (Marvel)



 Best Digital/Web Comic

Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover, Monkeybrain/comiXology.com
Failing Sky by Dax Tran-Caffee, http://failingsky.com

The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies, http://lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.com

Nimona, by Noelle Stephenson, http://gingerhaze.com/nimona/comic

The Private Eye by Brian Vaughan & Marcos Martin http://panelsyndicate.com/

 Best Anthology

In the Dark: A Horror Anthology, edited by Rachel Deering (Tiny Behemoth Press/IDW)
Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon)
Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It, edited by Ann Ishii, Chip Kidd, & Graham Kolbeins (Fantagraphics)
Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World, edited by Monte Beauchamp (Simon & Schuster)
To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)



Best Reality-Based Work

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)
Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories, by MariNaomi (2d Cloud/Uncivilized Books)
El Deafo, by Cece Bell (Amulet/Abrams)
Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, by Nathan Hale (Abrams)
To End All Wars: The Graphic Anthology of The First World War, edited by Jonathan Clode & John Stuart Clark (Soaring Penguin)




Best Graphic Album—New

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins (Picador)
Here, by Richard McGuire (Pantheon)
Kill My Mother, by Jules Feiffer (Liveright)
The Motherless Oven, by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
Seconds, by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Ballantine Books)
This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)




Best Graphic Album—Reprint

Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands Omnibus (Magnetic Press)
How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics)
Jim, by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)
Sock Monkey Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)
Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)



Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips (at least 20 years old)

Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN)
Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan: The Sunday Comics, 1933–1935, by Hal Foster, edited by Brendan Wright (Dark Horse)
Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, by Tove Jansson, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
Pogo, vol. 3: Evidence to the Contrary, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly & Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, vols. 5-6, by Floyd Gottfredson, edited by David Gerstein & Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)



 Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books (at least 20 Years Old)

The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics)
Steranko Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Son, by Don Rosa, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)
Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics, vols. 1–2, edited by Daniel Herman (Hermes)
Witzend, by Wallace Wood et al., edited by Gary Groth, with Mike Catron (Fantagraphics) 




Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Beautiful Darkness, by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët (Drawn & Quarterly)
Blacksad: Amarillo, by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn, by Hugo Pratt (IDW/Euro Comics)
Jaybird, by Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen (Dark Horse/SAF)
The Leaning Girl, by Benoît Peeters & François Schuiten (Alaxis Press)



 Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Takeshi Obata & yoshitoshi ABe (VIZ)
In Clothes Called Fat, by Moyoco Anno (Vertical)
Master Keaton, vol 1, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, & Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
One-Punch Man, by One & Yusuke Murata (VIZ)
Showa 1939–1955 and Showa 1944–1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki, by Mamoru Hosoda & Yu (Yen Press)




Best Writer

Jason Aaron, Original Sin, Thor, Men of Wrath (Marvel); Southern Bastards (Image)
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Captain Marvel (Marvel); Pretty Deadly (Image)
Grant Morrison, The Multiversity (DC); Annihilator (Legendary Comics)
Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image); Private Eye (Panel Syndicate)
Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Gene Luen Yang, Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse); The Shadow Hero (First Second)




 Best Writer/Artist

Sergio Aragonés, Sergio Aragonés Funnies (Bongo); Groo vs. Conan (Dark Horse)
Charles Burns, Sugar Skull (Pantheon)
Stephen Collins, The Giant Beard That Was Evil (Picador)
Richard McGuire, Here (Pantheon)
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)
Raina Telgemeier, Sisters (Graphix/Scholastic)




 Best Penciller/Inker

Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Mike Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
Frank Quitely, Multiversity (DC)
François Schuiten, The Leaning Girl (Alaxis Press)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Babs Tarr, Batgirl (DC)




Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

Lauri & Jaakko Ahonen, Jaybird (Dark Horse)
Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
Mike Del Mundo, Elektra (Marvel)
Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad: Amarillo (Dark Horse)
J.H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo/DC)



 Best Cover Artist

Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)
Mike Del Mundo, Elektra, X-Men: Legacy, A+X, Dexter, Dexter Down Under (Marvel)
Francesco Francavilla, Afterlife with Archie (Archie); Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight (Dark Horse); The Twilight Zone, Django/Zorro (Dynamite); X-Files (IDW)
Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Phil Noto, Black Widow (Marvel)
Alex Ross, Astro City (Vertigo/DC); Batman 66: The Lost Episode, Batman 66 Meets Green Hornet (DC/Dynamite) 




Best Coloring

Laura Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Madman in Your Face 3D Special (Image)
Nelson Daniel, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, Judge Dredd, Wild Blue Yonder (IDW)
Lovern Kindzierski, The Graveyard Book, vols. 1-2 (Harper)
Matthew Petz, The Leg (Top Shelf)
Dave Stewart, Hellboy in Hell, BPRD, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Lobster Johnson, Witchfinder, Shaolin Cowboy, Aliens: Fire and Stone, DHP (Dark Horse)
Matthew Wilson, Adventures of Superman (DC); The Wicked + The Divine (Image), Daredevil, Thor (Marvel)




Best Lettering

Joe Caramagna, Ms. Marvel, Daredevil (Marvel)
Todd Klein, Fables, The Sandman: Overture, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC); Nemo: The Roses of Berlin (Top Shelf)
Max, Vapor (Fantagraphics)
Jack Morelli, Afterlife with Archie, Archie, Betty and Veronica, etc. (Archie)
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo Color Special: The Artist (Dark Horse)



Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
Comic Book Creator, edited by Jon B. Cooke (TwoMorrows)
Comic Book Resources, edited by Jonah Weiland, www.comicbookresources.com
Comics Alliance, edited by Andy Khouri, Caleb Goellner, Andrew Wheeler, & Joe Hughes, www.comicsalliance.com
tcj.com, edited by Dan Nadel & Timothy Hodler (Fantagraphics)



Best Comics-Related Book

Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (4 vols.), edited by M. Keith Booker (ABC-CLIO)
Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life and Comics of Basil Wolverton, by Greg Sadowski (Fantagraphics)
Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell (IDW/LOAC)
What Fools These Mortals Be: The Story of Puck, by Michael Alexander Kahn & Richard Samuel West (IDW/LOAC)
75 Years of Marvel Comics: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen, by Roy Thomas & Josh Baker (TASCHEN)



 Best Scholarly/Academic Work

American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife, by A. David Lewis (Palgrave Macmillan)
Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics, by Andrew Hoberek (Rutgers University Press)
Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books, by Michael Barrier (University of California Press)
Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, edited by Sarah Lightman (McFarland)
The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay, by Thierry Smolderen, tr. by Bart Beaty & Nick Nguyen (University Press of Mississippi)
Wide Awake in Slumberland: Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor McCay, by Katherine Roeder (University Press of Mississippi)




Best Publication Design

Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti/DC)
The Complete ZAP Comix Box Set, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, designed by Jim Rugg (Locust Moon)
Street View, designed by Pascal Rabate (NBM/Comics Lit)
Winsor McCay’s Complete Little Nemo, designed by Anna Tina Kessler (TASCHEN)



 

2 Comments on 2015 Eisner Awards nominees announced: Ms Marvel, Saga, Bandette and Multiversity lead, last added: 4/24/2015
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32. Fashion alert: Anna Sui does a line of manga-inspired handbags and wallets

Famed designer Anna Sui recently did an amazing Sailor Moon collab and now she’s released a line of manga-infused accessories inspired by Ryoko Ikeda (The rose of Versailles), Osamu Tezuka (Princess Knight, Yunico), Rumiko Takahashi (Urusei Yatsura), Ai Yazawa (Paradise Kiss), Akiko Higashimura (Princess Jellyfish), and Mineo Maya (Patalliro!)

While you empty out your drool buckets I must report the devastating news that this line will only be available in Japan. Console yourself by knowing you probably couldn’t afford it any way. (One of the Sailor Moon purses goes for nearly $800 on ebay. Sob sob.)

Just in case you happen to be going to Japan next month:

Pricing has yet to be announced for the items but the first place where they’ll become available is the Shinjuku branch of department store Isetan in Tokyo, where the Anna Sui manga shop will be open from May 6-10, followed by Laforet Harajuku, also in Tokyo, from May 15-28. The Anna Sui manga tour then moves to Tokyo’s Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi (May 20-26), Nagoya Parco (May 20-31), and Osaka Lucua 1100 (May 20-June 2).

 

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33. Fashion alert: Hot Topic offers line of Avengers apparel from Her Universe

Nerd girl fashion is popular…and stylish. Her Universe, the fashion line started by Ashley Eckstein, has been setting the trend for much of this and now they’ve teamed with Hot Topic to offer a line of Avengers outfits. Rather than cybernetic body armor and purple pants it heads more towards fishnets and sleeveless dresses. You can pre order it here.

The line was designed by Amy Beth Christenson and Andrew MacLaine who were the winners of the Her Universe “Geek Couture” Fashion Show at last year’s Comic-Con. So it’s a real cinderella story here.
The line includes:

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Captain America Halter Dress, $59.50

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Thor Sailor Dress, $59.50

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Stark Industries Bomber Jacket, $54.50

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Black Widow Dress, $44.50

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Black Widow Belted Jacket, $64.50

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Loki Halter Dress, $59.50

Hot Topic is offering a full line of Avengers gear. In fact while I was writing this piece I discovered these Marvel combat boots. So many cool things, so little closet space.

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34. Koyama Press Fall slate includes double DeForge, Mai, Wertz and more

Canada’s Koyama Press continues to present a lively slate of boundary-pushing work, and this fall they are putting out their biggest line ever, including two books by Michael DeForge, new books by Jane Mai, Cole Closser and some newcomers, a kid’s book and a revamped version of Julia Wertz’s Drinking at the Movies. I expect one of the most interesting will be Robin Nishio’s Wailed which follows “a group of friends who also happen to be the vanguard of alternative comics making.” And you thought The Sponsor was shattering!

All the details below:

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DRESSING
Michael DeForge
ISBN: 978-1-927668-22-1
$19.95
5 ½ x 8, 120 pages, colour, paper over board
September 2015




Like Very Casual, a collection of very odd odds and sods from the outré oeuvre of Michael DeForge.

Michael DeForge makes comics like no one else. This collection of the cartoonist’s mini-comics, zines, anthology work, and more, is a follow up to the award-winning Very Casual, and shows the artist at the height of his occasionally fever-induced powers.

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LOSE #7
Michael DeForge
ISBN: 978-1-927668-18-4
$10.00
7 ⅛ x 10, 52 pages, colour, trade paper
September 2015




Lose, now in full colour!

The multi-award winning Lose series is Michael DeForge’s comics laboratory. The art form is pushed to its limits in these first-time-in-full-colour pages. Revel in a cartoonist at the height of their powers exploring the eccentricities of a woman who befriends her dad’s doppelgänger, and the realities of a flightless bird/boy hybrid.
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BLACK RAT
Cole Closser
ISBN: 978-1-927668-24-5
$15.00
6 x 7 ½, 160 pages, colour, trade paper
September 2015




This aesthetically varied collection of nine graphic short stories is loosely linked by the recurring appearance of a black rat.

Black Rat is the sleeper in the shadow, the wanderer in the woods. He walks between worlds and travels through time—slaying monsters, solving mysteries and philosophizing with his fists amidst a barrage of butchered quotes and borrowed styles in a series of seemingly disparate, sometimes violently visceral vignettes.

COLE CLOSSER is a cartoonist and a graduate of the BFA program at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, as well as a graduate of the MFA program at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. His graphic novel Little Tommy Lost was named one of the ten best graphic novels of 2013 by A.V. Club (the Onion), and nominated for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in the category of Best Publication Design at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con. Cole currently lives in Springfield, MO and teaches drawing at Missouri State University and Drury University.
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SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY
Jane Mai
ISBN: 978-1-927668-25-2
$12.00
7 x 10, 128 pages, b&w, trade paper
November 2015




Autobio with bite.

This collection of diary comics features the ennui and wee of twenty-something Jane Mai whose emotions and art traverse the high and low. Moments of visual poetry and heartbreak are interspersed by bad body hair and bathroom disasters; much like life.

JANE MAI is a freelance illustrator and comic artist from Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and self-published zines. In 2012, Koyama Press published her first book, Sunday in the Park with Boys, which was followed by the zine Sorry I Can’t Come in on Monday I’m Really Really Sick.

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DRINKING AT THE MOVIES
Julia Wertz
ISBN: 978-1-927668-26-9
$15.00
6 ½ x 9, 220 pages, b&w, trade paper
November 2015




Julia Wertz is the anti-Bridget Jones; her diary comics are filled with life’s real and often really hilarious moments.

Representing Julia Wertz’s critically acclaimed first graphic memoir in a new format, with brand new material from Wertz, and an introduction by Janeane Garofalo. But don’t worry; we haven’t replaced any of the wrenching and ribald, whiskey-soaked coming-of-age tale. This is Wertz at her best, which is sometimes her worst.

JULIA WERTZ was born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1982 and currently lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of the autobiographic comic books The Fart Party Vols. 1 and 2 (Atomic Books, 2007, 2009) both volumes were collected asMuseum of Mistakes in 2014, Drinking at the Movies (Random House, 2010) and The Infinite Wait and Other Stories (Koyama Press, 2012).

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WAILED
Robin Nishio
ISBN: 978-1-927668-19-1
$21.95
8 ¾ x 10, 80 pages, CMYK rich-b&w, trade paper
November 2015




Page through the lives of contemporary cartooning’s enfants terribles.

Wailed is an intimate chronicle of a group of friends who also happen to be the vanguard of alternative comics making. In stark black and white, the lives of these young artists are illuminated. Comics are often associated with the past, but this is a document of their future.

ROBIN NISHIO is an accomplished illustrator and storyboard artist and his artistic acumen is also reflected in beautiful and raw photographs. His high-contrast black-and-white images recall the pioneering work of Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama. Straddling two market groups, art photography and cartooning, Wailed is a book with an easy hook, but a depth that allows it to transcend easy categorization.
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CROSSWAYS
Phil Woolam
ISBN: 978-1-927668-23-8
$22.95
10 x 13, 52 pages, 3 spot colours, trade paper
November 2015




A modern Mondrian; Woollam sees cities as a latticework of vibrant colour and fluid forms.

Crossways presents the ever-changing grids that make up the modern urban center, be they intersecting streets, crisscrossing wires or the ladder that climbs up the side of a building, as pure abstraction. For Woollam, landscape is liquid and the city is a medium as fluid as ink.

PHIL WOOLLAM is an artist living in Toronto whose drawing based practice often focuses on multiples that recall the colourful geometry of the Memphis movement and De Stijl. Trained as a sculptor, Woollam has also created three-dimensional works including mascots based on the characters and designs of cartoonist Michael DeForge.

KIDS’ COMICS


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JUNCTION
Nathan Jurevicius
ISBN: 978-1-927668-21-4
$19.95
8 ½ x 10, 52 pages, colour, paper over board
November 2015




Make a face when the wind changes and it will stick, but, in this myth, you might just love it.

For generations the Face Changers have made the clay tokens that change the winds and faces of their kin. This month the youngest is tasked to take the ten thousand footsteps to the top of the mountain and engulf the town in the winds of change.

NATHAN JUREVICIUS is an Australian-Canadian illustrator who has worked in a variety of media including designer toys, video games and animation. He is best known for his acclaimed multi-platform project the psychedelic and heartfelt modern folktale Scarygirl. Nathan currently lives and works in Toronto.

“Nathan Jurevicius’ work achieves the minor miracle of being aggressively weird, deeply compelling and entirely satisfying…a rare achievement that only a true master of mysterio autentico can accomplish.” — Jim Woodring, creator of Frank and Jim

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35. Daredevil season 2 gets green light

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A second season of Daredevil appears to be in the cards, though its original showrunner won’t be returning.

Replacing season 1 showrunner Steven DeKnight are Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Horror Story) and Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy), who had a hand in the first season.

“While previous commitments unfortunately prevent me from continuing on with Daredevil into its second season,” DeKnight said in a written statement, “I could not be happier that Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are carrying the torch. They were invaluable collaborators during our first season, and I for one can’t wait to see what they do with the show moving forward.”

DeKnight was actually the second showrunner, taking over for Drew Goddard, who left the series during season 1 pre-production, at the time to write and direct a Sinister Six film for Sony. Goddard penned the season’s first two episodes and is rumored to have contributed to an outline for the second season of the show prior to his exit.

Though Netflix already has a fairly full slate of Marvel shows in the works – “Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones” is releasing later this year, and “Marvel’s Luke Cage” premieres on the streaming service in 2016 – Daredevil season 2 is slated for a 2016 release as well.

As a huge fan of season 1, I’m looking forward to a second series. Let’s just hope the show finds a way to change costumes as quickly as it changes showrunners.

1 Comments on Daredevil season 2 gets green light, last added: 4/22/2015
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36. Ready, Steady, DRAW! Oni Announces Guidelines and Schedule for Open Submissions

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A month or so ago, Oni Press announced that they would start taking Open Submission for new series. This essentially means that ANYONE can send them a comic pitch and someone will eventually look at it. Not too much else was discussed, but it certainly caused a buzz. With more publishers taking a hard, long look at the publishing practices of their friendly competitors and themselves, I’m excited to see what amazing comics (and ideally pretty great contracts) this trend could be leading to.

Today, Oni Press posted their submission guidelines for their first wave and the date when people can let loose the floodgates. If you don’t want to read all of this (you really, really should), it’s MAY 1st – June 30th.

The guidelines are as follows:

On May 1st, 2015, Oni Press will be opening submissions to the public. We are on the hunt for new stories from new creators, featuring characters that reflect the diversity of the world around us. Oni Press has always valued content and execution, and we are looking for creators and projects that can support our goal to publish excellent, varied and original work.

 WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

PITCHES – Cartoonists and writers, we’re looking for pitches. If you’re a cartoonist who can write and draw we’d love to see what you have. Writers, this is the day you’ve been waiting for—we are looking at story pitches without necessitating an artist attached. If you already have an artist lined up you think is up to snuff, fantastic! But if you’re a writer who needs help finding an artist, if your pitch is THAT good, we will help partner you up.

 PORTFOLIOS – Illustrators and colorists! If you think your work is up to snuff and you are looking to be paired up and you think your artwork would fit in amongst some of the best storytellers in comics, now is your chance to prove it.

 WHO SHOULD SUBMIT:

Anyone with a unique perspective and a firm grasp of the comics medium.

 WHAT WE WANT TO SEE:

An excellent sense of storytelling and well-developed characters with a definite perspective.

WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO SEE:

  • Superheroes! They have their place but their place is not with us.

  • Avoid pitching long-form series or stories in oversaturated genres such as supernatural noir, zombies, vampires and gritty detectives with a dark past.

  • Please also avoid delicate subjects such as rape and sexual abuse as fodder for exposition in genre stories–using rape as a plot point betrays not only a lack of sensitivity but also a lack of creativity when creating compelling female characters.

  • We are not accepting any prose or poetry – we’re a funnybooks publisher!

THE NITTY-GRITTY:

- The submission periods will operate on a two-months open, two-months closed schedule. Our first submission period will be open from May 1st to June 30th.

- All submissions should be submitted electronically through our Submittable site, located here:https://onipress.submittable.com/submit. Any physical submissions will be destroyed without reading. Please do not email (or tweet at) editors directly with pitches. It will just make us grumpy.

- All submissions should should have your name, email and phone number on every page. They should also begin with a cover letter telling us who you are, who your project is for and how it fits at Oni Press. Also feel free to include any previously published comics work or comic-related education.

- Expect a response to your submission within one month. Everyone will get a response but not all responses will be personalized—we simply don’t have the time to do so.

This all seems pretty straightforward but it’s super nice to see it all spelled out, though the fact that they’re openly accepting pitches from writers, artists, and colorists separately is pretty remarkable. More details below:

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Writers:

  • Pitches should be:
  • A logline – [what’s the idea/concept]
  • A one-page synopsis / overview – A short summary that contextualizes who your project is for and how it fits into the marketplace
  • A 3-5 page outline – give us the full beginning, middle and end of your story so we can see your execution.
  • A sample comic script containing at least two scenes, consisting of at least eight pages and no more than twenty pages. This should be a comic book script, NOT a screenplay.

Artists:

  • Submissions should be:
  • A portfolio with at least eight sequential storytelling pages with FINAL LINE ART / INKS. No pencils, just final inks [or the digital equivalent] by you.
  • No covers, pinups, etc. SEQUENTIALS ONLY. We only care about your ability to tell a story. Adding pin-ups of Marvel/DC superhero characters are not an opportunity to wow us, it’s mostly just wasting our time. Again, SEQUENTIALS ONLY.
  • Please make sure your sequentials include characters of both genders and at least one person of color.

Cartoonists or Writers w/ Artists: Combine the two categories above!

  • Pitches or submissions should be:
  • A logline – [what’s the idea/concept]
  • A one-page synopsis / overview – A short summary that contextualizes who your project is for and how it fits into the marketplace
  • A 3-5 page outline – give us the full beginning, middle and end of your story so we can see your execution.
  • A sample script containing at least two scenes, consisting of at least eight pages and no more than twenty pages.
  • At least 8 sample pages of sequentials from the project being pitched.
  • Note: The creative team in your pitch is the one we expect to see actually working on your book. No switcheroos!

Colorists:

  • Submissions should be:
  • A portfolio with at least eight pages, containing at least two different scenes, from at least two different artists.

* Sorry, we are not currently taking submissions from pencillers, inkers, or letterers.

As someone who has perused many a-publishers submission guidelines, having it all spelled out is a real breath of fresh air. Not enough info for you? Here’s what the editors involved have to say for themselves:

Ari Yearwood31273931-5690-4df4-8c7b-ac8c338300fa, Associate Editor – I got my start in literary journals and feminist pop culture critique (shoutout to Bitch). I’m looking for complicated and nuanced characters with a developed perspective. I want to see diversity and originality, and I want stories with underrepresented characters—all I had in my formative years was Livejournal and The L Word, and no one should have to rely on The L Word to see themselves reflected in media. I’m a big fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and literary fiction fan, but most of all I want to read something I haven’t seen before. My favorite movie is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, because life is a rich tapestry.

8e16d903-194f-4454-88ca-64f26b7efd24Robin Herrera, Editor – I started off in the YA/Children’s book world and I think that world has a lot of crossover with the comics world in terms of story and execution. I want fully-realized characters (not necessarily “strong” or even “likable”) with agency and direction. I want unique perspectives and different takes. I’m into a lot of different genres: high fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, literary, romance, coming-of-age, and anything that has to do with weird food-based Battle Royales. Or Battle Royales in general. (I wrote my graduate thesis about point of view choices in Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.)

74a9049f-84a2-4c84-97a4-8477926d99e1Charlie Chu, Senior Editor – The biggest thing I would like to see from incoming submissions is more diversity in not only the voices we publish, but also the kinds of stories and characters in our books. For too long a period of time, we’ve seen way too much of the same ideas from the same narrowing demographic of creator get pitched to us, and the only way to change that is to evolve the pool of creators we are talking to. If you are a female writer or artist, someone who identifies as a person of color, or LGTBQ, consider this an invitation and please come pitch us. We’re not looking for affirmative action in our books by any means, but with the readership growing larger by day, it’s important we find space for new voices who bring new ideas to the table while still maintaining the same level of pop appeal that defines the Oni Press library. As the tentpole and genre focused member of editorial, I’m hoping to find fast-paced and ambitious books that center around grounded, believable characters with the same diversity as the world we live in, and most of all, books that are fun, accessible, and original.

9df819a9-a3de-4665-886a-836c05b0ff8aJames Lucas Jones, Editor In Chief - Oni Press has always been a place focused on publishing comics for an audience inclusive of a wide demographic. With other publishers finally catching up, it’s important for us to continue to break boundaries and continue to grow the diversity of our line. Our catalog has always been diverse, but it’s time for that variety to be reflected in the characters starring in our books and the creators making them. I’m looking for inventive stories with rich characters, a thoughtful approach to comic book storytelling, and a dedication to craft. You should be pitching us fully realized, considered pitches that continue the long Oni Press tradition of character-driven narratives that don’t fit in with other publishers’ conventions.

That’s all the information we have! Be sure to follow the Oni Press Editorial Staff on twitter, it sounds like a lot of updates will be coming from there. The Beat wishes you the very best of luck in your pitches!

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37. Interview: Fresh Romance’s Janelle Asselin on running a successful Kickstarter

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The Fresh Romance Kickstarter campaign is in its final hours but it’s already made nows. Not only is it well over 150% funded, but editor/publisher Janelle Asselin’s plan to bring back romance comics in a contemporary guise with Rosy Books has definitely struck a nerve.

As the last few hours count down, we caught up with Asselin for a quick check in on how the campaign got going and how she prepared for such a time consuming but ultimately successful task. And as a bonus, here’s a look at the story from Sarah Vaughn (ALEX + ADA) and Sarah Winifred Searle (SMUT PEDDLER) about a couple headed to the altar for all the wrong reasons.

You can still support the Fresh Romance digital anthology in the link above and The Beat endorses this action!

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THE BEAT: Obviously this has been a very successful Kickstarter. But they are known for being a lot of work. How did you prepare for crowdfunding?

ASSELIN: I’ve backed quite a few Kickstarters over the years, so I’d already spent some time noting what worked and what didn’t work. I knew what I liked as a backer and a lot of that went into the decisions I made for my own Kickstarter campaign. The biggest thing, though, was that I spent a lot of time before we launched setting up the actual business and getting people not just on board as creators but actually working on their comics. I didn’t want to leave backers waiting around for months after we ended, wondering if they’d ever see their rewards. I did a lot of calculations to figure out the bare minimum I needed to get started, and went over not just the goal number but all the pricing numbers over and over again.

THE BEAT: Did you seek the advice or support of any Kickstarter veteran?

ASSELIN: I did email a bit with Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan of Oh Joy Sex Toy about their campaign. They had that great post they did about the numbers behind their Kickstarter that was really helpful and my lawyer put me in touch with them to talk a little more about specifics. I’d also done some interviews over the years with folks like Spike Trotman and Kel McDonald about their crowdfunding stuff, before I was even really sure I wanted to do it myself! Some of the KS campaigns I’ve backed over the years have been run by friends, like Jeremy Haun, so I’d heard some of the behind-the-scenes commentary on that. And also, a bunch of the creators I have on board have been a part of other KS campaigns, as has my publicist.

THE BEAT: Is there anything you would have done differently?

ASSELIN: I definitely would’ve given myself more lead-in time. I also probably would’ve hired some pros to do my video, because the stress of trying to do it myself was not worth it in the long run. I eventually got help from a friend who is a video pro but the whole process was pretty unnecessarily stressful. And I would’ve offered individual international shipping costs for some countries, like Canada. I’ve had some complaints about my international shipping costs, but as I’ve said honestly to folks, if they can find me cheaper options, I’d love to see them, but most of the international shipping I looked at ran at least as much as I’m charging, if not more. I know a lot of campaigns get into trouble where the shipping costs have to come out of pocket or end up being so astronomical they can’t afford them, and I did NOT want to be in that place. Still, I would adjust some of the individual country pricing so that it wasn’t just one flat international rate.

THE BEAT: The success of the campaign has allowed you to increase payments to creators and put out even more stories. How far do you have Rosy Press planned?

ASSELIN: I have pitches that could take us well beyond the first year – and we’ll open up to submissions soon, so I anticipate planning even further into the future. As I’ve tried to reinforce throughout the campaign, our initial funding goal was just the start – I never intended to just put out three issues and then call it a day. This is an ongoing monthly and as long as it is financially feasible, I’ll keep putting it out.

THE BEAT: And of course the inevitable question: now that you’ve done a Kickstarter for one title, would you consider doing this again?

ASSELIN: Possibly? It’s really stressful and it’s a ton of work, but it is also super exciting and validating. It’s a great way to test the waters on a project because you can get preorders and also gauge interest, and there’s a lot of value in that. I’m not sure how many people would’ve believed that a magazine like Fresh Romance with a Regency romance, a queer high school romance, and a paranormal romance would’ve gotten as much support as it has, but it’s been amazing. If there’s another project that I feel needs that extra push, it would likely be worth it.

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38. MATT CHATS: Gabo Gabs about Writing and Drawing Micro-Fiction

Welcome to MATT CHATS, a weekly interview series in which I talk to a creator, consumer or seller of comics. This week I spoke with Gabriel “Gabo” Bautista, who is working on several projects right now including The Life After for Oni Press and Albert the Alien for Thrillbent. During that time he also managed to fit in Jupiter, a series of 100 micro-stories set on the largest planet made up of just one drawing and one page of text each. His Kickstarter campaign has been funded, but it’s still running so you can jump in and get an early copy of the hardcover and push it closer to its stretch goals. I spoke to Gabo about creating Jupiter, setting rewards for the campaign and more.

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I first encountered your work with The Life After, and what immediately struck me was the panel density. What was your reaction to a script that asks for a lot of panels per page?

I’ve always been a fan of using a lot of panels! The idea of slowing down time by shoving more panels on a page has always intrigued me, so when I first read Fialkov’s script I was elated. There is that 50 panel two-page spread that we had in the first issue. The monotony and slight repetition of each panel really drives home the idea that Jude does the same damn thing day in day out, like many of us have suffered or currently suffer in our day to day lives.  I’m all for a page full of panels as long as there is a good reason for it!

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Did working in that kind of style influence the creation or development of Jupiter?

Jupiter was mainly influenced by two things: a challenge by Kenneth Rocafort to do a daily drawing in a Moleskine daily planner, and constant dreams of futuristic settings that I feel intimately connected to. The rest sort of just ran its course on its own, I just sat back and let my hands do the work.

What’s the appeal of a story told in one image and a page or less of text?

I’ve always been intrigued by the synopsis’ you find on the back of books, especially sci-fi and fantasy novels with those amazing painted covers. Being able to squeeze a whole concept into just a paragraph is the idea I wanted to harness for this project.  The fact that you can open the book to any page and be immersed into that world for a brief moment is what I find appealing. That and it’s great for people like me who has short attention spans haha.

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Do you find micro-stories to be more or less challenging than longer-form projects? Why?

I’ve never taken on the task of writing something longer than a few pages, but I feel micro-stories are easier in that it doesn’t take a lot to belt one out, its almost like playing a quick game of poker vs a round of Magic the Gathering. While Magic is way more complicated and requires more time to complete, poker in itself is full of strategy and complications that take years to master, only its much faster to play.

For me, developing a story comes pretty easy. Sometimes I feel that perhaps my brain produces way too much of whatever chemical causes someone to make things up, but I sure as hell am grateful for it.

Is there any way you’d prefer Jupiter to be read? All at once/one at a time/some other way?

I’ve never really given that idea any thought. I suppose it could be read from beginning to end, but at the same time I love that Jupiter is like a sketchbook where you can flip to any page and be sucked into that scene in just a matter of seconds.

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Would you ever sell the Moleskin daily planner that contains all of the Jupiter drawings?

I’ve had a lot of friends suggest I put it up as one of the reward tiers, putting a price of a couple thousand on it, hoping maybe some crazy rich person would pledge for it. At the same time though I’ve had other friends who scold me for thinking about it, saying I should keep it as long as I can. I’ve never been big on keeping my art, hell sometimes I just give it away at conventions, but the idea of giving away or selling a book with over 100 drawings in it is a bit hard to process. To be honest my biggest fear would be that the pages would get separated and distributed, and at the same time I would love nothing more than for people to have a little piece of Jupiter to themselves. I’M TORN. WHAT DO I DO? It’s literally just collecting dust in my studio! [Laughs] Maybe in a few years I’ll start tearing out the pages and gifting them or selling them. WHO KNOWS. I have to keep reminding myself that we are simply guardians of art until a new owner is found.

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You offer high-level of backers a significant influence over the content of your book, particularly at the $250 level. Was that an easy decision to make, or did it feel more like a necessary evil in order to get funded?

It was 10% “necessary evil so I could get funded.”  I figured people would be clamoring at the chance to be in the book. “TO BE IMMORTALIZED,” I kept repeating in my head. Overtime though, I’ve realized that the people who becoming part of the book WILL be immortalized, in my heart.  Cheesy, ain’t it? I’m serious though! Those people who pledge at that level believe me and Jupiter enough to become a part of it, they trust in me to do a great job in taking their likeness and converting them into a legend of Jupiter. It’s super awesome, and they are super awesome. Ultimately though, I always wanted to have this be a THING in Jupiter, taking a few people and turning them into legends… It’s neat!

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After 100 drawings and 100 stories, how connected are you to this world?

There’s a lot of it that I don’t remember. I look at the images and fragments of the stories come to me. Sort of like when you’re looking at an old photo of yourself hanging with friends.  You might know when it was taken, what might have been going on in your life then, but you probably don’t remember it as well as you’d like. My connection to the world of Jupiter I’ve created is similar; I don’t try to force things into it. Instead I let those things come out when they want, and hope to hell they make sense and that I can jot them down before I forget them.

What’s the scariest part of the project for you?

The scariest thing for me was not being able to fund it. After Day 2 of the Kickstarter, the fear was completely obliterated.

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Now that the campaign is funded, are you thinking ahead about future stories?

I’ve been planning this for a while; the illustrations in Jupiter are actually from a 2013 Moleskine daily planner. I’ve got a 2014 thats nearly half full, and a 2015 that I’m currently filling. The next book will be slightly different, though; some of the stories will be written by guest writers (some of which will be some notable comics people!) I’m looking forward to seeing what people write to a piece of art that’s already been created.

Jupiter is just one of many projects you’re working on. How do you balance it all?

I have no damn idea. I can’t deny that I’m late on some projects and have had to pretty much cancel or put other projects on hold, but Jupiter has been done for several months, and I just needed to get it out of my system.

What keeps you cranking out pages, day after day after day?

BILLS, MAN. BILLS. I literally have no choice, if I slow down or slack off I will be sleeping on the streets. No greater motivator than the risk of going homeless if you goof off too much. Also the fact that I’m getting old. I see all these young cats in the comic game making power moves, and I’ve just barely reached the big leagues at 34? I don’t have time to mess around, I need to keep moving, keep drawing. Draw or Die.

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You can find Gabo on his website and on Twitter, and back his Kickstarter campaign for Jupiter for a few more days. Don’t wait.

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39. Valiant and Sony teaming up for five films with Bloodshot and Harbinger

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Valiant Comics Entertainment has been teasing a big media announcement for ages and WHOOP there it is: A five picture deal with Sony for films involving Bloodshot and Harbinger and a crossover called Harbinger Wars. And it’s being overseen by the guys behind The Fast and the Furious franchise. Zowie!

With Marvel and DC locked up at Disney and WB, other studios are looking to get in on the lucrative comic book movie train…and Valiant has got a diesel express straight to the screen.

A bunch of top level filmmakers are involved:

• BLOODSHOT, who you can see immediately tp the left of this post, comes out in 2017 and will be directed by David Leitch & Chad Stahelski who made the much admired John Wick, with a script from Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2) and Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce the film. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will serve as executive producers.

Bloodshot was created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton in 1992. He’s an unstoppable killing machine who gained his powers after being brought back from the dead.

• HARBINGER follows with a script by Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). No word on a director, but Moritz, Jaffe and Shamdasani will once again produce.

Harbinger is a telekinetic teenage runaway who was created in 1992 by Jim Shooter and David Lapham.

• BLOODSHOT 2 (movie gods willing)

• HARBINGER 2

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• HARBINGER WARS based on the 2013 crossover by Joshua Dysart and Duane Swierczynski with art by Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain, and Pere Perez.

Sony’s Andrea Giannetti is exec producing the five picture slate.

 “Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of comics, and Neal is one of the best action producers in the business today. This is a formidable partnership that will bring two incredibly commercial franchises with global appeal together on the big screen,” said Sony Entertainment Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad. “The long-term plan that begins with BLOODSHOT will be a considerable priority for Sony in the months and years to come.”
 
“Bloodshot and Harbinger are two of the great untapped franchises anywhere in comics,” said producer and founder of Original Film, Neal H. Moritz. “In partnership with Sony and Valiant, we look forward to building the next great generation of superhero films.”
 
“Sony Pictures and Neal Moritz are the ideal partners to bring the world of Bloodshot and Harbinger to life,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “They understand exactly what makes these characters tick and the exciting potential that they hold. These films are just the first step in partnership with Sony to bring Valiant’s biggest heroes to new audiences worldwide.”
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40. The New 52 is now the Old 52: a look back

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With Convergence, aka Atlas Moving Vans, now rolling out in the DCU and the New 24 about to launch, several websites have taken a look back at The New 52, which launched in September of 2011 and super-charged the comics industry. As I’ve written several times before, the pr for the New 52 immediately lifted the entire comics industry with more customers coming into stores and finding a lot of new comics to read. Call it the Millennial Rush. The debut of Saga #1 six months later hooked those who were just nibbling and he rest is history: record breaking sales.

While the New 52 was a commercial success, the books themselves were a mixed bag. The entire initiative was put together so quickly that a lot of books ended up being “beauty pageants” where several writers pitched at the same time, and some of them even thought they had the gig until the very last second. People were butthurt right from the gitgo. While the number of books — yes, 52 — remained steady for quite a while, the creative teams soon started resembling a game of beach blanket bingo, people came and went with revolving door frequency and sales generally stayed on a “general attrition” trajectory.

But there’s no denying that the New 52 was the most successful and audacious launch of the “modern” comics era…whatever you call that. (Definitions in the comments are welcome.) Or at least since the Ultimate line.

There were 68 titles; 20 of them lasted all 40 issues; 12 of them will make it past Convergence. (Titles with an asterisk are the ones moving on to the Nü DC:) Action Comics*, Aquaman*, Batgirl*, Batman*, Batman and Robin, Batwoman, Birds of Prey, Catwoman*, Detective Comics*, The Flash*, Green Arrow*, Green Lantern*, Justice League*, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Red Lanterns, Suicide Squad, Supergirl, Superman,* Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman*.

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As you can see the titles that made it are the titles you’d expect in the core DC line. Surely no one expected to see Red Hood and the Outlaws make it to the 52 finish line, but then the New 52 saw many strange things, like the resurgence of Scott Lobdell’s writing career, a brief resurgence for Rob Liefeld’s writing career, and scores of foreign artists with hard to spell names filling in all over the place.

A couple of sites have more in depth looks at the legacy. Steve Foxe at Paste magazine has a Talking Dead-style In Loving Memory: All 68 DC Comics That Have Come and Gone Within the New 52 slideshow with EVERY WRITER AND ARTIST that worked on the books. God bless.

The New 52, for all of its initial commercial success, has often had a rocky relationship with critics as well as longtime fans up in arms over changes to decades-old characters. Nearly four years after its debut, DC is using its cross-country corporate move to Burbank, California as an opportunity to officially end the New 52 banner and do another reshuffling, wrapping up all but 25 of its current ongoing titles and debuting 24 new series in June once the Convergence crossover wraps up.

Kelly Harrass at Panels on Pages has an even more in depth history in two parts, here and here with such bleak notations as the following:

In its 30 issue run, Suicide Squad had 4 writers and 16 artists.


Harass also notes:

In this climate, it’s hard to look at the fact that only 12 of the original 52 survived and say that there’s anything wrong with that number. It’s not like DC is a failure. Books just get cancelled more often now. I’d be interested to see how many Marvel series that were going when the New 52 started are still running. We’re just seeing shorter volumes these days.


Which is a good equalizer. The bottom line on the new 52 will be for history to judge, but it will be no surprise to say that the books that were the best has the most steady art teams—Batman and Wonder Woman most notably. There may have been laughable moments and questionable editorial decisions, but for many new comics readers, The New 52 will forever be what got them hooked. Its legacy will live on.

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41. Titan to release hit Bande Dessinée Mutafukaz this Fall

Mutafukaz Volume 1French entertainment group Ankama announced today they’ve sold Titan Comics the publishing rights to their series Mutafukas for English-speaking countries. The Bande Dessinée tells the story of Angelino and his adventures in Dark Meat City following a scooter accident that leaves him with the ability to see strange entities doing dirty deeds all over town. The strip is the work of the graphic artist known as Run. Les Inrocks magazine called the illustrator a “postmodernist Virtuoso, Run is a bit like the Tarantino of comics, and MUTAFUKAZ is his Kill Bill.”

The series has reportedly sold over 100,000 copies in France, with the final issue scheduled for release this Fall. A full-length film from Studio 4C, the long running Japanese animation group who was responsible for the “Kid’s Story” segment of The Animatrix, has been in the works since 2011.

Check out some early preview pages of Mutafukaz below.

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42. Adam Zyglis wins Pulitzer Prize for Cartooning

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The Pulitzers, awarded for excellence in journalism, were announced yesterday, and the winner for cartooning was Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News. Finalists were Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher of the Baltimore Sun and Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins), of Daily Kos. (On her FB page Columbia U librarian Karen Green revealed she was one of the judges for the category.) You can see some more of Zyglis’s work here.

As usual, WaPo’s Michael Cavna was on the scene for the first interview:

“Hearing I’d won was surreal,” Zyglis tells The Post’s Comic Riffs this afternoon, shortly after receiving the news. “I was working in a corner of the newsroom, and suddenly, people started shouting and coming up and hugging me.”


Perhaps Zyglis, who’s in his 30s, pretty youthful for a Pulitzer winner, should not have been so surprised. In recent years he won the Berryman Award, was a finalist for a Reuben, was named the 2015 recipient of the Grambs Aronson Award for Cartooning With a Conscience and was a runner–up for the National Headliner Award. Given all that it would be more surreal if he HADN’T won.

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43. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/21/15: Introducing Deerdevil

§ I got a note from Incachild Creative stating that in remembrance of Spectacular Spider-Ham, they made a tribute video called Deerdevil. You can watch it above. I guess it’s funnier if you remember Mark Armstrong’s Spider-Ham, which was part of the kid-oriented Star line, but it might be funny without that. I love it.

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§ Another email directed me to this TEST PRESS MoCCA 2015 Review by – Jefe aka Johnny Chiba y la mocca loca. This is a fantastic line-up of comics by about 75% I never even heard of so go rootle around and have fun!

§ Legendary Last Gsap publisher Ron Turner is doing a Reddit AMA today from 12-1 pm (PDT? or EDT? unknown.). Turner is a legend of the Bay Area and he knows a LOT of things that you can ask him about.

§ Hazel Cills interviews Jillian Tamaki about Super Mutant Magic Academy:

You describe on the comic’s Tumblr that the series is kind of like a diary of sorts, too?

It is for sure the most personal work of mine. As an illustrator I’m used to interpreting other people’s content although with Mariko’s books I don’t consider myself just an illustrator, they’re definitely collaboration. But this, just because it was installments and I made them unprompted, did feel like a diary. In 2007 I started a sketch blog when that was sort of a more novel idea than it is now. That was great for just putting things online and building a relationship with people that was more than just finished pieces. You’re sort of showing a peek behind your personality, but eventually I got sick of putting up just sketchbook work. So I feel like the comic kind of replaced that.

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§ Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and DC Entertainment (DCE) got together thousnads of people worldwide to participate in a 24 hour “dress like a DC superhero” event. Can this be a new comics holiday?

The DC Comics Super Hero World Record Event kicked off on April 18, 2015 in Queensland, Australia, and came to a commemorative close in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Within the same 24-hour period, additional events took place around the world in: Manila, Philippines; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Madrid, Spain; Rome, Italy; London, Birmingham, Warrington and Cardiff in the UK; São Paulo, Brazil; Paris, France;  “Smallville,” USA (Plano, IL) and Mexico City, Mexico.
 
Fans are highlighting their participation in the heroic event using #DCWorldRecord on Facebook and Twitter. The official Guinness World Recordcount will be available in the coming days.

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44. Walking The Game Beat: Star Wars, Possible Disney Infinity 3.0, New Arkham Trailer?

We now live in a post Star Wars trailer world, it’s a world where anything is possible including universally liking things. This week we’ll touch on new developments with Batman, Disney Interactive, and free Mortal Kombat X goodies.

In addition to seeing the first full trailer for The Force Awakens, fans at Celebration in Anaheim got a first look at Battlefield game series developer DICE’s plunge into the Star Wars universe with Battlefront. With the game set to be a November holiday release we can now start the anticipation build up. DICE has lit the match and started the fire by releasing a series of video diaries chronicling the game’s progress. Watch the first one below:

Star Wars: Battlefront comes to the PS4, Xbox One, and Origin PC on November 17, 2015.


 

While no official announcement has been made, Infinity Inquirer managed to get a leaked image  of possible characters for Disney Interactive 3.0. The image showcases a lineup of 11 new collectible toys which include Sam Flynn and Quarra from Tron Legacy, Olaf, and Mulan. Keep in mind Disney has neither confirmed or denied the image, but it has been taken down at the request of Disney from several sites.

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With E3 approaching soon we should find out more details on the future of the franchise, including the possibility of incorporating figures from or to previous versions of the game.


 

Last week the Mortal Kombat franchise had it’s biggest launch in the game’s history. While no specific numbers are known it has been released that the PS4 version is outselling both Xbox One and PC. For a breakdown of sales, MKX sold 61% of its copies on PS4, 38% on Xbox One, and 1% on PC.

This week, to thank fans who’ve been part of this launch the latest game update will include a new free DLC skin for a classic character. Patch 1.02 improves online stability, adds a new move for Takeda, and includes general balancing tweaks. It’s most visible addition is the classic look of Sub-Zero seen here.

Destructoid has also reported that classic Mortal Kombat fatalities from the 90’s could be coming back in DLC form.

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Now that we’ve played the game, it’ll be interesting to see how the DC Comics prequel series catches up to the game. As of now one of the game’s main four characters, Takeda, is a teen just starting his training under Scorpion. The series still has yet to do any significant story on the game’s main character Cassie Cage.


 

Halo 5: Guardians released a new trailer that showcases UNSC elite manhunter Spartan Locke taking out Covenant while in pursuit of Master Chief. If you check it out you’ll see new weapons and multiplayer abilities the game will have when it releases this October. Additionally it’s been announced anyone pre-ordering the shooter from GameStop in the US will get access to the Hunter-Class armor set.

Halo 5: Guardians releases for the Xbox One on 10-27-2015.


 

Batman: Arkham Knight draws closer and closer each week, yet the wait feels unbearable. The game’s director Sefton Hill isn’t making things easier. He teased fans on  twitter with talk of a new trailer, as if that wasn’t enough there’s also talk of new features Rocksteady has not yet disclosed.

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He even went so far as to say, a familiar face from Arkham City would be appearing in the new trailer. With just about everyone in the Batman universe appearing during Arkham City, it’s anyone’s guess just who he’s referring to. We should know more about the trailer including a possible date in the next few days.

Batman: Arkham Knight is set to release on June 23, 2015 for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.


Game Comics out 4/22:

Halo: Escalation #17 (Dark Horse Comics)

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(W) Duffy Boudreau (A) Douglas Franchin, Rob Lean (CA) Sparth                                               “The Glass Horizon” part 1: An action-packed survival tale on the treacherous and barren glasslands of a Covenant-ravaged colony world . . . and a Spartan-IV’s mysterious origin revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomb Raider #15 (Dark Horse Comics)

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(W) Rhianna Pratchett (A) Derliz Santacruz, Andy Owens (CA) Andy Park

While using the cover of a fake documentary about the legendary Chupacabra, Lara and her friends are drawn into a missing-child case while hunting the organization holding their friend hostage!

 

 

 

 

 

Batman: Arkham Knight #3 (DC Comics) (Print ed)    

STK668557  (W) Peter J. Tomasi (A) Viktor Bogdanovic & Various (CA) Dan Panosian

The Arkham Knight’s shadow spreads across the city as Batman digs deeper into the murders of villains – and it will soon put him on a collision course with the most dangerous enemy he’s ever faced!

Angry Birds #10 (IDW Publishing)
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(W) Various, Paul Tobin (A) Various, Stefano Intini (CA) Paco Rodriques
The pigs decide to build the “ultimate” fortress but can they muster up enough brainpower to find new ways to stop the Angry Birds?
Skylanders #8: Return of Dragon King (IDW Publishing)
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(W) Ron Marz, David Rodriguez (A/CA) Fico Ossio
RETURN OF THE DRAGON KING CONTINUES! CLASSIFIED is back! Only Spryo, Hex, and Cynder have the knowledge needed to defeat this arch-nemesis!
Sonic Universe #75 (Archie Comics)
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(W) Ian Flynn (A) Jim Amash & Various (CA) Patrick Spaz Spaziante
Sonic Universe has reached 75 thrilling issues, and we’re celebrating in style! “Fury”: The race is on as Sonic chases down Metal Sonic for one of the sought-after Chaos Emeralds!
Are you excited for Star Wars Battlefront? How much more Batman teasing can you take? Did Mortal Kombat X deliver for you? What video game inspired comics do you read? These are the questions we’d love to ask all your faces.

 

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45. Gaze at the glory of the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice posters

Last night, Zack Snyder unleashed the latest marketing volley in the growing behemoth that is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by tweeting out the posters that will likely adorn theater walls this year in promotion of the 2016 effort.

In short? They’re surprisingly well done. Unlike most movie posters which go the boring floating head route, or crowd characters into every possible inch of the landscape, this actually takes a bit of a pop art edge and displays a modicum of creativity.

So, bravo marketing team at Warners! You win this round for sure.

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46. Warren Simons on Bloodshot Reborn and Reinventing a 90’s Icon

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In the wake of the premiere event series The Valiant came this week’s Bloodshot Reborn #1. The storyline published by Valiant comics gave Bloodshot an entirely new status quota that see’s the character questioning his own humanity. The series with art from Mico Suayan and writing from Jeff Lemire chronicled the complicated new mindset on Bloodshot. Within the issue, the anti-hero finds himself in the sparse new environment of Colorado trying to find some peace after being manipulated by Project Rising Spirit.

We reviewed the first issue, and thought that “Valiant seems closer than ever to reimagining the concept for one of their greatest and most beloved superheroes towards sheer delight with the power of Jeff Lemire, Mico Suayan, and some clever ideas.”

Comics Beat sat down with Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons to get some added perspective on the series that debuted this past Wednesday.

Comics Beat: From other interviews, author Jeff Lemire cited that he had something massive in mind for Bloodshot after The Valiant ends. Could you tease anything about that revelation without spoilers?

Simons: We’re going to take Bloodshot in a direction he’s never gone before. I think many people will be surprised by that, but I also think if you look at the world outside your window, it’s a natural evolution of the character, especially taking into account what he’s experienced. The close of The Valiant #4 plays an important role in that, but isn’t a precursor to reading or enjoying Bloodshot: Reborn.

CB: What new threats do the mysterious doppelgängers add to Bloodshot’s world?

Simons: The threat is not always directly toward Bloodshot, which in some ways is more of a challenge for the character.

CB: Can you key us in on Bloodshot’s new mental state when the first issue begins?

Simons: He’s definitely seen better days. When he was a soldier controlled by the paramilitary group Project Rising Spirit, he was forced to do atrocious things against his will, and he’s haunted by that past. Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan have taken the book in a new, unexpected direction, but there are a few of the great core components in there that Kevin Vanhook and Don Perlin tapped into with the original incarnation.

CB: How does Jeff Lemire blend his art style with the captivating work of Mico Suayan?

Simons: As the editor of the title, I’m very happy to have incredible talents like Jeff, Mico, and David Baron here. The book is beautiful.

CB: Does the relationship between Kay McHenry and Bloodshot continue to evolve from The Valiant?

Simons: Yes, but not in a way that you’ll probably see coming. That’s the most I can say without spoiling anything.

CB: Can you tell us how the theme of identity plays a role in this comic?

Simons: I think it’s part of the core of who Bloodshot is, tracking back to the 90s. Once upon a time he was not a very nice guy, and he’s no longer that person, but his past actions still haunt him.

CB: How does Bloodshot as a 90’s legacy character continue peak your interest? What does he offer towards newer readers?

Simons: As with many of the Valiant characters, there’s an origin or high concept that’s very compelling, which is why these characters are beloved to this day. Those key elements are still there, and they drive the character to this day.

CB: How is Jeff and the rest of team Bloodshot Reborn building off of the previous run of the title?

Simons: Duane Swierczynski, Christos Gage, Joshua Dysart, and the entire Bloodshot team did a fantastic job of establishing the character in the Valiant Universe. As we’ve seen in events like Harbinger Wars and Armor Hunters, he is a very integral part of this world. Bloodshot Reborn is about the next evolution of the character.

CB: Do you have a long term goal in mind for the series? I understand that Jeff was crafting the book before The Valiant began?

Simons: Jeff’s been constructing his vision for Bloodshot Reborn for some time. In fact he’s already turned in over 12 issues of scripts as his story continues to develop. We’re very exciting about the things to come.

CB: Thanks for your time.

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47. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off to be headlined by Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood

ADRIANNE PALICKI, NICK BLOOD

Per a report tonight by Deadline, the recently announced Agents of SHIELD spin-off may have its stars in place, as Adrianne Palicki (who plays Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird) and Nick Blood (her ex-husband on the series, Lance Hunter) are nearing deals to star in the not yet greenlit series.

It has been said that the new spin-off will be set up in the final set of episodes of this season of Agents of SHIELD, so fans will have a pretty good idea of what the status quo of the spin-off should be in just a few weeks.

Deadline posits that due to their existing relationship, the series is likely to have a very “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” vibe, with a former husband and wife duo that are highly trained spies, but obviously with an added Marvel Cinematic Universe edge.

The pilot script is being written by Agents of SHIELD executive producers Jeffrey Bell and Paul Zbyszewski, with the latter acting as showrunner if the series is picked up.

While Agents of SHIELD hasn’t exactly performed like gangbusters in the ratings, it has at least begun to steadily improve after hitting a series low 1.4 in the 18-49 demo just a few weeks ago. The spin-off may end up filling the gap between a presumptive third season of SHIELD‘s 1st and 2nd halves, as Agent Carter‘s renewal chances continue to hang in the air.

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48. C2E2 2015: Get Inked By Stan!

C2E2 has hosted Ink Fusion before, and this year, things get rather interesting!

As the site says:

Stan Lee and the Ink-Fusion Empire team up for Tattooing at C2E2 2015!

Join the legendary Stan Lee, as he teams up with Ink-Fusion creator Marc Draven and his Empire of artists to offer a once in a life time chance for a tattoo drawn by Stan Lee himself!

Raffle tickets will be 2 tickets for $20

Tickets will be available Friday at the show in the Ink-Fusion Tattoo Pavilion. The winner will receive a free tattoo of one of Stan Lee’s famous characters (Image/Character TBA at show). This one of a kind sketch will be created by Stan Lee just for this contest! The tattoo will be performed by one of the internationally known Ink-Fusion Empire artists on hand.

Think that’s awesome? There is more! The winner will also get to show off their new tattoo when they get their PICTURE TAKEN WITH STAN LEE! (Only the tattoo winner will be photographed with Stan Lee)

*The tattoo will not exceed 3×5 inches. 18 OR OLDER ONLY.

stan lee spidey sketchSo, you may ask… how good an artist is Stan the Man?  Well, he has authored numerous books on how to draw comics!  He occasionally does a sketch cover.  I’m sure he’s been practicing…and it’s not like he’s wielding the tattoo machine!  (Or even signing his work! The actual procedure will be completed by one of  the Ink Fusion artists in attendance.  Although, he has autographed body parts which were later tatted.)

Here’s the fine print!  (I hope they include a copyright and trademark notice…those Disney lawyers can be vicious!  Although it might fall under “appropriation”.)

The following rules apply:

  • Must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Must have a legal form of photo I.D. to get tattooed, NO EXCEPTIONS.
    • Winner will be announced on the day Stan Lee is available to join us (times will be listed on Friday of the show) when the ticket is pulled at the Ink-Fusion Pavilion .
    • MAKE SURE TO KEEP A CLOSE EYE FOR TIME LISTING FOR THIS RAFFLE AS THIS WILL BE BASED ON MR. LEE’S AVAILABILITY!!!!
    • YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN.
  • Winner will get the tattoo immediately following the ticket drawing.
  • The original sketch is not included in the prize package.
  • No substitutions or additions will be made with the tattoo.
  • No personal autographs by Mr. Lee will be allowed, however feel free to take photos of the event.
  • All entries must have paid attendance into the show to qualify.
  • Any artist working under Ink-Fusion has the right to refuse service per Board of Health regulations and permitting.
  • Anyone getting tattooed claims all responsibility as well as proof of age and medical conditions, and cannot hold any member of Reed Expo, Ink-Fusion, or Stan Lee inc responsible .

 

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49. The Death of Superman Lives trailer considers what might have been

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You’ve all heard the story, in the late 90’s, Tim Burton was scheduled to direct a Superman film entitled Superman Lives, which was to be written by Kevin Smith and star Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel.

It was to be a radically different take on Superman that makes Man of Steel look traditional by comparison. It also never came to be for a number of different reasons. With The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, a new documentary by AMC Movie Talk’s Jon Schnepp, this fascinating chapter in this history of DC’s biggest icon is explored in depth.

Check out the trailer below for the film, which opens in select theaters on May 1st and expands on July 9th.

The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? delves into one of Hollywood’s most enthralling ‘what could have been’ stories. In 1996, Warner Brothers engaged Kevin Smith to write the screenplay (‘Superman Lives’). Director Tim Burton assembled an elite group of artists to work on Superman Lives, including Nicolas Cage as Superman. Warner Brothers scrapped the project shortly before principal photography began.

This documentary, directed by Jon Schnepp, features interviews with director Tim Burton; producers Jon Peters and Lorenzo diBonaventura; screenwriters Kevin Smith, Wesley Strick, and Dan Gilroy; production designer Rick Heinrichs; special effects artist Steve Johnson; storyboard artist Tim Burgard; costume designer Colleen Atwood, and many more. This film delivers an inside look into what would have been the most original, unexpected and cosmic Superman movie ever made.

Sounds like something I need to see. On a related note, Superman vs. Hollywood is a great book that digs into this subject and all of the projects that came before and after (stopping short of Man of Steel).

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50. Dynamite announces monthly Bob’s Burgers comic

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With C2E2 coming up it looks like another week of Dynamite news. Starting out…a monthly Bob’s Burger comic with creators from the animated series involved, including creator Loren Bouchard. The first Bob’s Burgers mini series was a surprise hit for Dynamite with multiple printings, a best selling collection and one of the top ordered FCBD comics. The series launches in July. The PR didn’t mention the artists on these variant covers, but as with most variants, they look nice.

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Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the upcoming July release of Bob’s Burgers #1, the first issue in an ongoing series that presents all-new adventures and antics of the Belcher Family, the beloved cast of the popular FOX animated comedy series. Building upon the success of their five-issue 2014 miniseries, Dynamite and partner Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products welcome a creative team assembled from the actual television show producers and animators to deliver the engaging Belcher Family fun that millions of fans adore.

“Bringing Bob’s Burgers to the comic book medium is a lot of fun, because it allows us to tell stories that we wouldn’t normally do on the TV show and it allows our artists to illustrate them in equally unique styles,” says Mike Olsen, one of the contributing writers for theBob’s Burgers comic book series.

Loren Bouchard, the creator of Bob’s Burgers, says, “We want the comic to appeal to fans of the show, and to that end, we strive to protect the tone, the heart, and most importantly, the characters, just as fiercely as we do when we’re working on the TV show. If you enjoy the show and you don’t enjoy the comic book, then we owe you a comic book, or at least an apology.”

“We’re very fortunate that Loren (Bouchard) and his creative team of writers and artists are able to take the time to create some of the best comics in the industry today.  We wanted to wait to launch the ongoing series till Loren and his team were able to create enough material to do so, instead of continuing series of mini-series.   Bob’s Burgers has been successful thanks to the execution of Loren and his creative team.  When you think about it, Bob’s Burgers is the only comic in the industry that has the entire team of writers and artists work on the comic.  It truly is canon and no other comic in the industry has the entire creative team working on the series.” States Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci. 

The second-ever series of the Bob’s Burgers comic book gives each member of the Belcher Family a chance to shine. Each monthly issue will include new installments of Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction, Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities, Gene’s Rhymey Rhymes That Could Someday Be Songs, Linda’s Attempts to Take a Nice Family Picture in Front of the Restaurant (And How It Always Goes Wrong), and Bob’s Fantasy Food Trucks (If Money Were No Object).

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