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Results 1 - 25 of 73
1. Brad Meltzer offers speculation on Flight 370′s dissappearance on CNN


Well, we are getting down to a) the bare bones of emerging facts and b) the huge, blossoming never ending until they find the black box* range of speculation over what the hell actually happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. And here is Brad Meltzer, occasional comics writer and host of History Channel’s Decoded to speculate on bizarre non Tintin related theories about the disappearance of a jumbo jet off the radar’s of the world.

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I am definitely holding out for inspiration from Tintin on this.

* If the flight did go on for seven hours after losing contact with Malaysian air traffic control, AND even if the black box is actually found, we might still never know what happened: the black box only records the last two hours of flight information.

0 Comments on Brad Meltzer offers speculation on Flight 370′s dissappearance on CNN as of 3/17/2014 8:03:00 PM
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2. HYPE ALERT: Baltimore Comic-Con, Seth Goldman and Honest Tea

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First off, Baltimore Comic-Con is THIS WEEKEND. This is one of the most beloved events on the comics circuit and guests include:

Joe Hill, Neal Adams, Josh Adams, Ed McGuinness, David Finch, Ivan Reis, Brian Bolland, Stan Sakai, Cliff Chiang, Amanda Conner, JG Jones, Ryan Ottley, Jim Starlin, Mark Buckingham, George Perez, Frank Cho, Mike Mignola, Terry Moore, Chris Samnee, David Petersen, Keith Giffen, Adam Hughes, Barry Kitson, Paul Levitz, Thom Zahler, Mark Waid, Walter Simonson, Dean Haspiel, Steve Conley and many more!!!


What a great list! JUST GO! You will have an awesome time. I mysefl am making a triumphant return after a year off and will be there starting tomorrow morning. If you see me please come up and say hi!

AND NOW MY HYPE ALERT. As you may know, I am working as a consultant for Honest Tea representing their brand new graphic novel "Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently–and Succeeding" in the comics world. As part of that on Sunday morning at 11 am I’ll be interviewing Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman about the book and more:

Baltimore Comic-Con is welcoming Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman for his only comics event appearance of the year as he talks about his new book, Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently-and Succeeding.

Goldman will appear Sunday morning at 11 am in Room 305 to talk about the making of the book, the uses of nonfiction comics, and secrets of entrepreneurship in a panel moderated by The Beat and Publishers Weekly’s Heidi MacDonald.


You may have seen Goldman mentioned earlier this week in the Washington Post, talking about a new green business start-up. He’s a fascinating person, and I’m really looking forward to talking to him about graphic novels, small business start-ups, green businesses and more important stuff. Anyway end of hype, but here’s a page from the book, illustrated by the very talented Sungyoon Choi:

mib_fullcolorexcerpt.jpg521913_3857261635148_1386582770_3521131_2141882778_n.png (500×702)

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3. The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive

Hold onto your monocles, because it’s time for DC comics to make their first attempt at getting you to drop them in shock. The initial round of April ‘shock’ gatefold covers have been released via various locations – CBR, MTV Geek, DC’s Source blog, and so on – and I’ve collected them here. So far we have, I believe, seven officially released covers from DC, as part of their (formerly WTF) April promotion, from comics including Dial H, Batman, Stormwatch and Swamp Thing.

Each one of these is meant to make you spit out your Pimms in surprise – so, how well do they succeed?

wtf6 The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive wtf1 The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive wtf2 The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive wtf3 The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive wtf4 The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive wtf5 The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive

wtf7 The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive

Personally? Well.. I wasn’t shocked (my monocle remains trusty and proud), but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the stories suggested here. Mr Miracle’s return in Earth 2 is probably the best of the reveals so far, but that new Batwing also looks pretty familiar…

11 Comments on The First Round of Shocking WTF DC Covers Arrive, last added: 3/21/2013
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4. Valiant Tease ‘The World’s Worst Superhero Team’

Valiant have released a teaser today, which teases (as teasers are wont to do)  something coming up in July..

valiant Valiant Tease The Worlds Worst Superhero Team

Well, I’m not a betting man, apart from the lottery which I bet on and lose every week – but could this be a new series from Valiant?  Hmmmm…

6 Comments on Valiant Tease ‘The World’s Worst Superhero Team’, last added: 3/22/2013
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5. James Asmus, Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire relaunch Quantum and Woody in July

As predicted, Valiant’s teaser from earlier in the week was for a relaunch of their massively popular duo Quantum and Woody, who will be returning in July flanked by James Asmus, Tom Fowler, and Jordie Bellaire. And a goat.

 James Asmus, Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire relaunch Quantum and Woody in July

The first issue of the series, which was originally launched all the way back in 1997 when I was still in primary school, will be out on July 10th, with a variety of variant covers from the likes of Fowler, Marcos Martin, Ryan Sook and Andrew Robinson. The Tom Fowler cover will have an interactive ‘talking cover’, with a goat that growls at you. Here’s Martin’s cover:

 James Asmus, Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire relaunch Quantum and Woody in July

Talking about the series, Asmus says:

In all of comics, there’s no other book that mixed style and substance quite like Quantum and Woody. I was willing to literally kill someone for the chance to write the relaunch for the new Valiant Universe. I might have. Those first days after I got the call are a blur. But Quantum and Woody isn’t (just) a superhero book – it’s action-comedy, it’s family drama, it’s a boys-meet-goat tale that tugs at the heartstrings.

Valiant also released some preview pages from the first issue, c’est la vie:

QW 001 001 James Asmus, Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire relaunch Quantum and Woody in July QW 001 002 James Asmus, Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire relaunch Quantum and Woody in July QW 001 003 James Asmus, Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire relaunch Quantum and Woody in July

11 Comments on James Asmus, Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire relaunch Quantum and Woody in July, last added: 3/27/2013
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6. Marvel to Publish Some More Superior Books

Marvel have announced that they’ll be publishing two new titles soon, both tying-in to their Superior Spider-Man series, and both of them focusing on villains. Which means the Spider-Man franchise at Marvel will now be made up of six titles, all of which feature a villain-of-sorts in the main role. We have Scarlet Spider and Venom currently on the go, and now July will see The Superior Foes of Spider-Man and Superior Carnage both released into the world (presumably picked up by a cup/coaster combination, and subsequently thrown out a window).

spiderfoes Marvel to Publish Some More Superior Books

The creative teams are pretty good! The Superior-Spider Foes will focus on the five-strong member of the current Sinister Six, who are made up of Speed Demon, Shocker, Beetle, Overdrive and Boomerang. This is being billed as an ongoing series, and will be written by Nick Spencer, drawn by Steve Lieber. Boomerang appears to be the central character here, although I’m not sure what the ongoing premise of the book will be. It seems like it’ll be a look at life as a for-hire supervillain, and all that entails. Double-crosses, failed heists, an inevitable upcoming appearance from Spider-Man…

superiorcarnage 02 Marvel to Publish Some More Superior Books

Superior Carnage follows the previous two successful Carnage miniseries Marvel have put out recently. Zeb Wells won’t be writing this one, but another member of his writing room at Robot Chicken will be - Kevin Shinick. And whilst Clayton Crain will only be on covers this time round, that does make space for Steven Segovia to come in as artist for the five-issue mini. The mini will focus on another attempt to take over and control the ‘Carnage’ symbiote, but this time it’ll be a villain trying to cause trouble, in the form of The Wizard.

Both books are out in July.

1 Comments on Marvel to Publish Some More Superior Books, last added: 4/5/2013
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7. Clayton Crain Joins Valiant’s Harbinger Wars

TweetValiant are pushing to the next stage of superhero this year, taking their five comics (all of which seem to have been very well reviewed so far, beating statistical probability to a pulp) and experimenting with crossovers and events. The first title they relaunched in 2012, X-O Manowar, is entering an event storyline called Planet [...]

1 Comments on Clayton Crain Joins Valiant’s Harbinger Wars, last added: 2/22/2013
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8. Vertigo Announce Two New ‘Fables’ Books, and an Unwritten Graphic Novel

TweetShould that have been a semicolon instead of a comma in the title? Oh boy, the things I worry about when writing up Mike Carey news. Today! Vertigo have announced a bathful of new books, with an encyclopedia and anthology for Bill Willingham’s Fables coming later this year, followed by a full original graphic novel from the creative [...]

6 Comments on Vertigo Announce Two New ‘Fables’ Books, and an Unwritten Graphic Novel, last added: 2/22/2013
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9. The Beat’s Guide to Avoiding the DC SPOILER

TweetOh no! Spoilers have escaped onto the internet once more, this time for a DC title of some kind! How can you avoid reading these before you pick up the issue they relate to? Why, by following this winningly winning guide to avoiding all the places where it’s being spoiled! I won’t spoil the spoiler [...]

8 Comments on The Beat’s Guide to Avoiding the DC SPOILER, last added: 2/26/2013
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10. Advance Review: Uncanny Skullkickers #1 tests out The Adjective of Power

TweetUncanny is such a strange word to use to describe a comic, much less a range of different comics which tend to feature characters who aren’t unexpectedly familiar – they’re the X-Men and Avengers, they’ve been around for decades. Which is why it’s nice to see that the Skullkickers creative team of Jim Zub and [...]

1 Comments on Advance Review: Uncanny Skullkickers #1 tests out The Adjective of Power, last added: 2/27/2013
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11. Marvel’s #1 to be Announced at SXSW

Marvel have been teasing a new project called #1, which has been suggested to be a weekly comic, or some kind of compendium, or… well, who knows. At any rate, a new teaser has surfaced, revealing the creative people who will be featured in the project, as well as the news that the announcement for #1 will come next weekend, at South By Southwest. There are plenty of names involved –

FirstSXSW 600x958 Marvels #1 to be Announced at SXSW

Some of the most notable names on there are Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker and Joss Whedon, all of whom seem somewhat unlikely at this point to be releasing new work for Marvel. Especially Whedon, whose involvement would surely come with a teaser in itself – despite apparently only being able to write one comic script every seventeen months or so, he’s a big name, and would bring a lot of attention to Marvel comics.

So what is this? It looks to be some kind of reprint, or some way of celebrating the books Marvel perceives to be the most important they’ve done. The presence of John Cassaday on the teaser probably connects to his work with Whedon on Astonishing X-Men, and you can also pair together several other creative teams, such as Rick Remender and Jerome Opena, or Matt Fraction and David Aja.

But at the same time, all these creators listed here are fairly contemporary – if you’re going to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the X-Men, there’s no way you should be allowed to exclude Chris Claremont. So what the devil (as Claremont would no doubt write in his 50th Anniversary X-Men Comic, which by the way I WANT TO READ) is this meant to be?

2 Comments on Marvel’s #1 to be Announced at SXSW, last added: 3/5/2013
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12. Image Announce Dark Skullkickers Dark #1

Frequent collaborators on mysteriously short-lived Image projects, Jim Zub and Edwin Huang have been announced as the creative team for a new issue #1 from Image in June, Dark Skullkickers Dark #1. And that’s not a typo – the extra Dark is there for a reason.

And that reason is because the comic is dark.

darkskullkickers Image Announce Dark Skullkickers Dark #1

This is, of course, the most recent ‘relaunching’ from the Skullkickers team, who have spent the last few months designating each new issue of Skullkickers as a different #1 relaunch. Each time they relaunch, they add a different adjective in front, like ‘Mighty’ or ‘Savage’, poking fun (but also emphasising) the bizarre importance that the comics market puts on relaunches and short-term storytelling.

Next month will probably see Trinity of Sin: Skullkickers announced. In a fun press release (and you know there’s nothing I find more entertaining than a press release, guys!), Zub quotes Image’s PR and Marketing Director Jennifer De Guzman thus:

It’s a pale reflection of the industry’s need to spin rebooted series through endless hype, turning the crazed hamster wheel of entertainment promotion until it’s fallen apart. Good-bye, integrity.

This whole thing – which has generated consistently higher sales for the series – is a pointed criticism aimed at all the comic book websites which value a quick spike in internet traffic over covering important or worthwhile news stories. Here’s the variant cover for the issue!

darkkick Image Announce Dark Skullkickers Dark #1

Where was I? Ah yes, comic sites which are obsessed with printing press releases and quoting verbatim rather than writing something new or useful for readers. Here’s a quote from Zub about the subject:

Fun comic books are a thing of days past. In order to grab a modern audience I’ve dipped into the darkness of my own heart and spilled my blood upon the pages of this sequential masterpiece. Oh yeah, there’s beer in it too.

(The first issue of Dark Skullkickers Dark will be out in June.)

1 Comments on Image Announce Dark Skullkickers Dark #1, last added: 3/11/2013
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13. 2000AD Create ‘Jump On Point’ for Prog 1824; take Mickey out of Marvel

Morning in Britain means more British comics talk! The Beat slowly forces its way into multiculturalism, and isn’t it wonderful? Hopefully eventually we’ll bring in a reporter from Fiji, and really nail this 24/7 news cycle thingy.

2000AD have been on a marketing offensive recently, as you’ll probably have noticed. Following the digital release of Greg Staples’ Judge Death teaser yesterday, the magazine has also been quick to push forward with two more digital teasers. The first announces that issue 1824 will be advertised as a ‘jump on point’ for new readers, with the entire issue made up of new stories and strips, which won’t lock readers out of continuity.

jumpon 2000AD Create Jump On Point for Prog 1824; take Mickey out of Marvel

The second of their images takes a friendly shot at Marvel’s recent announcement that they’ll be trying out a weekly digital series in June, featuring Wolverine. The teaser reminds readers that perhaps this isn’t the most radical of moves…

2000ad 2000AD Create Jump On Point for Prog 1824; take Mickey out of Marvel

0 Comments on 2000AD Create ‘Jump On Point’ for Prog 1824; take Mickey out of Marvel as of 3/14/2013 9:19:00 AM
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14. INTERVIEW: 2000AD’s Mike Molcher on Spreading The Word of Tharg

Mike Molcher is the PR Co-ordinator for Rebellion, meaning he is the man directly responsible for promoting their comics, 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine. If you’ve noticed over the last few months that more people are talking about 2000AD, be it the recent ‘Trifecta’ storyline, or the ‘gay Judge Dredd’ teaser which got picked up everywhere – that’s Mike Molcher’s work. He’s also an interviewer and writer himself, who has interviewed many of the key figures who have worked at 2000AD over the years, including Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Dave Gibbons and Carlos Ezquerra. 

But how do you go about promoting a company like 2000AD, which releases a new anthology EVERY WEEK? I spoke to Mike about his work with the company, to see how exactly he goes about promoting the series. And what is comic book marketing, anyway? How does it work? Is this interview secretly all part of his marketing plan?

By reading this, have we become trapped in Mike Molcher’s sinister plans for 2000AD to take over the world? Oh dear…

mikem4 INTERVIEW: 2000ADs Mike Molcher on Spreading The Word of Tharg

Steve: I’ll start with a self-sabotaging question: since 2005 you’ve been involved with interviewing some of the most influential 2000 AD creators – from Alan Moore to Carlos Ezquerra. What makes for a good interview?

Mike: Oof, tough start! I can’t say mine are particular exemplars of good practice so I can only speak about the interviews I enjoy reading – they tend to be the ones that actually stray away from what’s on the comic book page to what’s going on in the mind of the creator, what motivates them, what inspires them, what grinds their gears. By uncovering these things the interviewer can begin to form a picture of the roots of that person’s creativity. Talent and ability never exist in isolation, they have always come from somewhere (usually thanks to a lot of hard work) and it’s the people of comics that I find most fascinating. I like to think my interviews try and achieve that (he said, nervously).

Steve: Before you took on your current role, you worked as a features writer for 2000 AD. How did you first come to get involved with the company in this respect?

Mike: I think it was Matt Badham who first mentioned to me that 2000 AD was looking for creator interviews and features. At the time I was a local newspaper reporter in the north of England but had started up my own self-published magazine, The End is Nigh, which took a Fortean Times-style look at end-of-the-world theories. I’d interviewed Alan Moore about the apocalyptic aspects of his work and his ideas on the approaching human singularity, so I did a retrospective on him for the Judge Dredd Megazine. That opened the door to interviews and I’ve been doing them ever since. Fortunately it meant that when I applied for the job they already knew me and knew that I was a big 2000 AD fan.

Steve: Obviously, your goal as a features writer is to promote and flesh out the company you’re writing for at the time. Do you think there’s a natural step between journalism and PR? How do you alternate between the two?

Mike: I don’t know what it’s like in the States, but you’ll find many of the big names in PR in Britain started out as journalists in some respect. Personally, I’d say that firsthand experience of what goes on inside the head of a journalist and what makes a good story is invaluable when you’re trying to reach out to reporters and reviewers. I continue to write creator interviews in my spare time for the Judge Dredd Megazine and Comic Heroes, so personally I think one compliments the other, because it keeps me abreast of what’s going on in the industry and how we can use that to our advantage at work.

Steve: Only a short while ago you moved to become Rebellion’s PR Co-ordinator. What sort of work does this involve on a day-to-day basis?

Mike: Answering a LOT of emails, mostly. 2000 AD represents just part of my work so I spend a lot of time writing press releases for new titles and announcements, keeping the social media side of things flowing, running blog tours for our three novel imprints, keeping track of the development of the various games Rebellion are working on, plus trying to work out new opportunities to promote our products. Fortunately we’ve recently taken on a marketing coordinator, Robbie Cooke, whose focus is more on the games side of things so he’s been a massive help with that.

 mikem1 INTERVIEW: 2000ADs Mike Molcher on Spreading The Word of Tharg

Steve: Rebellion don’t just publish 2000 AD/Judge Dredd, but also handle novels and computer games. How do you structure your time between the three?

Mike: With a rather heavily annotated diary, a lot of scheduling, and an increasingly wrinkled brow. Working across three different industries can be pretty mad at times and making sure I give equal time to every new title and product can be damn hard work. Ultimately I have to judge whether something needs a slight PR nudge to sell or a heavy marketing shove out the door…

Steve: The Dredd movie came out last year, giving you a unique opportunity for promotion on a wider field. How did the movie affect the way you promoted the comics?

Mike: I very quickly learned that ANY mention of movies gets people really excited – our most shared image on Facebook was one I did publicizing the fact that DREDD was number one in the DVD and Blu-Ray charts over here and even the slightest mention of the movie would get a huge response. We’re constantly asked whether there are movies coming for our other characters, so it seems the magic of film hasn’t exactly diminished in the digital age!

We obviously went heavy on the promotion of Judge Dredd to tie in to the movie and that’s really paid off – the collected ‘Case Files’ have been flying off the shelves on both sides of the Atlantic – but I have tried to make sure that when someone discovers 2000 AD for the first time they quickly see that it’s not all about Dredd, as loveable as he is. We have a huge and constantly growing back catalogue of some of the greatest characters in comics, from Halo Jones to Nemesis the Warlock and more recent things like Shakara, Low Life and Brass Sun.

Steve: Were there any promotional campaigns you were surprised to see get less attention than others? Do you find, when promoting a comic to a film audience, there was a difference in reaction than when you promote more directly to comic fans?

Mike: Nikolai Dante ended last year after 14 years. And when I say ended, writer Robbie Morrison and artist Simon Fraser brought the Russian rogue’s story to a close. In effect, we killed off one of our most popular characters. And he ain’t coming back. For a comic book to do something as bold as that, I thought, deserved more attention – alas, no-one really picked up on the announcement. It may be that he never had the right profile outside of 2000 AD, but by the time I came on board it was a bit late to change the situation.

I don’t think there’s a big difference in the way you talk to the two audiences other than reminding yourself that the film audience won’t be as conversant in the language and culture of comics as someone who’s been reading them for years. The biggest question we got was “I loved the movie, where do I start reading?”. We were very fortunate that someone can see DREDD then walk into their local comic book and walk out with a comic featuring the same character they saw on screen; Karl Urban and Alex Garland nailed the character of Judge Dredd so perfectly that it was like he’d leapt off the page. So marketing to fans of the film was a case of giving them a good starting point (The Complete Case Files #4, if you’re interested, then #5 and then pick up a copy of ‘Origins’ and ‘America’) and then letting them discover it for themselves.

Steve: You’ve spearheaded several successful campaigns for 2000 AD over the last year – the ‘gay Judge Dredd’ promo picked up a lot of attention, in particular. How do you decide which comics might be suitable for a push, and which stories are going to pick up the most attention?

Mike: I talk to 2000 AD’s editor Matt Smith about what we have coming up and he’s very good at highlighting things that are noteworthy. For example, we recently had BPRD’s James Harren do his first Judge Dredd story and we’ve got a couple of big artist announcements coming in the next few months which are quite exciting. I always do a baseline social media push for each edition of 2000 AD – teasing new stories or returning series, promoting striking covers – but quite often there’s something specific to push like new or returning talent.

mikem2 INTERVIEW: 2000ADs Mike Molcher on Spreading The Word of Tharg

The ‘gay Dredd’ campaign was a particular highlight. Not every fan was pleased with my tactics there, but the wall by my desk covered in national and international media clippings and the 30% hike in sales for that particular issue (with high retention and new subscriber rates) makes me feel somewhat justified. It was the same for the return of the Dark Judges as part of the Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos storyline – we ran a great teaser campaign with CBR and the sales graphs all blipped upwards and stayed there.

Alongside the digital explosion our print edition is benefiting from the higher profile – over the past six months, the 2000 AD iPad app has not only grown our number of subscribers overall but has also bolstered the number of print subscribers. We’ve got clear data showing that promotion has played a major part in that, so I’ve been very pleased with our work over the past year.

Steve: Similarly, the Trifecta story from Al Ewing, Si Spurrier and Rob Williams got a lot of critical acclaim. Can you plan for that sort of buzz ahead of a story being released? Ahead of the issue being released, do you try to arrange for more people to get hold of review copies? How do you manage a story which you think is going to be critically acclaimed, by fans and by reviewers?

Mike: We decided very early on with Trifecta that we wouldn’t spoil the surprise, but that once it was out in the open it was all hands to the pumps – Al, Si, and Rob played along brilliantly and once it was out there we really pushed hard on the reaction from readers and from those reviewers who picked up on what was happening. The issues of Trifecta have been some of our biggest digital sellers as people hear the hype then go back and pick up the relevant issues.

Building word of mouth isn’t much use when it’s for a single weekly issue because by the time people have heard about it it’s already time for the next issue, but when you have an exciting ongoing storyline then you can really help spread the word. We do weekly press previews to bloggers and journalists; getting those all-important reviews means getting copies in the right people’s hands, something that I think we’re much better at doing now than we ever have been.

Steve: Are there any techniques which always help drive attention to a comic? Valiant’s successful relaunch, for example, seemed to have a lot to do with the way they publicised themselves ahead of the first comic release.

Mike: On a very basic level you can’t go wrong with new artwork, the return of popular characters, and intriguing teasers. Nothing’s better for getting social media buzz going than a juicy piece of art or a surprise announcement that your favourite character is coming back. The biggest attention-grabbers are when you change the game a little bit or find a niche no-one knew was there.

mikem3 INTERVIEW: 2000ADs Mike Molcher on Spreading The Word of Tharg

Steve: What do you think about the current state of American comics, in terms of marketing? Marvel and DC seem to have become a lot more ‘stunt’ orientated over the last few months. Every other day sees about fifty teaser images get released.

Mike: In an insanely competitive marketplace, it’s small wonder that the big two have to shout louder and louder about their books. I like what DC is doing with its ‘DC family’ blog and the campaigns on titles such as Journey into Mystery, Young Avengers and Spider-Man that Marvel has been running have been spot on (and I was blown away by the skill of their digital announcements at SXSW recently), while Image has completely reinvented itself over the last two years into something a lot closer to the feel and ethos of 2000 AD than I think any of us realise!

I often get asked why we promote 2000 AD the way that we do and why we don’t just let “word of mouth” do our work for us. 2000 AD has been on a hell of a run for the past decade and the word of mouth was very positive, yet we weren’t significantly building our readership. Two years of strong marketing and new distribution and we’re adding readers. It’s not rocket science.

Steve: 2000AD must be an interesting magazine to work on, because it’s a weekly anthology series. How do you focus your PR for each issue? Do you focus on creators, or characters – or the magazine as a whole, single product?

Mike: All of the above! And yes, it’s a constantly fascinating, evolving comic to work on. We have a brilliant stable of artists and writers who’ve really knocked it out of the park over the last 18 months, plus a tiny editorial team who are just as enthusiastic and passionate about 2000 AD as any reader. It can be challenging at times because many non-readers have an idea of it that’s 20 years out of date; all those great strips and creators are fantastic and amazing, but the past ten years of 2000 AD have been universally praised amongst fans as a second golden age and that’s pretty bloody exciting.

Steve: We’ve seen 2000AD building up a reputation overseas (which in this case means America) over the last year or so. How do you approach publicising the magazine abroad? Again, do you find you have to tailor the material you offer overseas readers?

Mike: It’s been a particular aim of mine to make us as much of a part of the comics mainstream in America as any other publisher and I believe we’re starting to get some traction there. I’d like to offer more previews of material to news sites, though it can be a struggle to make people understand that carrying 2000 AD news can bring in readers. We have a great relationship with sites like CBR and Comics Alliance, and some real advocates of our comics in people like Doug Wolk, Karl Keily, and Tucker Stone. We bring out one or two collections specifically for North America every month so it’s a case of publicising them as normal while bearing in mind that American and Canadian audiences may not be as au fait with the language and culture of British comics.

2000ad2 INTERVIEW: 2000ADs Mike Molcher on Spreading The Word of Tharg

Steve: Do you think digital has evened the playing field a little, now everybody has access to comics from home?

Mike: Completely. For reasons unfortunately beyond our control many comic book readers in North America can’t get hold of 2000 AD as easily as we would like, so being able to beam each ‘Prog’ directly into their hands is a massive bonus. We have a reputation as a British comics powerhouse, so we just have to make sure people are intrigued enough to give 2000 AD a go.

Steve: What would you say is the key to working PR in the comics industry, in the current climate?

Mike: Good material to work with, constant attention to social media and a thick skin (I admit mine could be somewhat thicker).

Steve: What would you like to see more of from comic companies in 2013, in terms of PR, co-ordination, and marketing?

Mike: A bit more innovation, but then that’s easy for me to say and very hard to suggest ways in which you could do it. While marketing is important, it should never drive creative choices but I would like to see marketing that pointedly pushes out into other demographics and stresses aspects of comics beyond the obvious – the industry has a lot of work to do to convince people it’s not all spandex and T&A for teenage and not-so-teenage boys. But it must always be about working with the creative teams, who are the ones delivering the material in the first place.

Many thanks to Mike for his time. Big interview! Repay him by following him on Twitter. If you’d rather see a Tharg-approved twitter feed, however, then you can follow 2000AD too. And if that still isn’t enough Tharg endorsement, head over to 2000AD online.

4 Comments on INTERVIEW: 2000AD’s Mike Molcher on Spreading The Word of Tharg, last added: 3/20/2013
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15. Valiant’s Teasing Again: This Time, Shadowman

By Todd Allen

Valiant’s being a big tease again.  I was sent the following graphic with the tagline, “Shadows fall this November.”

sm teaser Valiants Teasing Again:  This Time, Shadowman

Yes, there is something in that image.  If you’re not seeing it, tilt your monitor or adjust the brightness.

The educated guess (“sm_teaser.jpg”) is Shadowman will be returning in November.  The original Shadowman was a horror/Voodoo hero who survived a supernatural attack, only to find himself changing at night and stalking the creatures that come out after dark.  We’ll see if Shadowman is still in New Orleans for the revival.  The original was a jazz musician which played into the whole creature of the night motif.  Hard to say if he’ll be spinning out of an existing series or starting solo.  Figure more will be revealed shortly.

9 Comments on Valiant’s Teasing Again: This Time, Shadowman, last added: 7/25/2012
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16. HYPE: Joe Palooka goes to IDW

JoePalooka Image.1 HYPE: Joe Palooka goes to IDWThis is firmly under the HYPE banner since I was a publishing consultant for this project, but Ham Fisher’s venerable boxing-themed comic strip character has been updated to an MMA-fighter for IDW’s Joe Palooka. The concept was the brain storm of boxing announcer Joe Antonacci, along with Mike Bullock, Fernando Peniche and Matt Triano. In the story, Joe Palooka is a discredited MMA fighter who travels the world desperately trying to clear his name while fighting to earn a spot in the legendary “Legion of Combat,” worldwide fight series.

The book already has a following via digital editions, and has sponsored MMA fighters in the past. Why did I take on this project? Joe had a lot of contacts and a complete marketing plan for the book. If you’re going to do a targeted project like this, that’s is how to do it.

4 Comments on HYPE: Joe Palooka goes to IDW, last added: 8/8/2012
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17. HYPE: ICv2 announces Conference on Comics and Digital II for NYCC

201208060206 HYPE: ICv2 announces Conference on Comics and Digital II for NYCC Pop culture business news site ICv2 has announced the ICv2 Conference on Comics and Digital II to be held in conjunction with this year’s New York Comic-Con. It will be held on WEDNESDAY, October 10th,1:00 to 5:00 p.m. — in previous years it was held on the Thursday prior to the Con but NYCC is essentially a 4 day show now.

As in previous years, The Beat is a sponsor of this event. Here’s the line-up of panels, with speakers to be announce. All of them sound extremely interesting.

The ICv2 White Paper

This ICv2 White Paper will present a comprehensive look at the comics and graphic novel market in print and digital for 2011 and 2012, with an analysis of long and short term trends driving the market.
Presented by Milton Griepp, ICv2.

Kids—the Future of Everything!
The fastest growing segment of graphic novel publishing is titles for kids, tweens, and teens. Are you doing everything you can to take advantage of this huge change in the audience for comics? Learn about the kids graphic novel scene from the leaders of publishing, retail, and libraries.

Comics—The New Medium
As technology impacts the world of comics, we are seeing the biggest changes in format since the invention of the graphic novel. What will the comics art form look like in five years, and how does the essence of sequential storytelling using words and pictures change in the process? Creators and entrepreneurs discuss the question of “what is a comic” and how the revolution in technology is transforming the medium.  

Comics—The Transforming Business Model
The business of comics is changing faster than we’ve ever seen before—digital is exploding, crowdfunding is providing a new source of financing, the retail and library channels are changing rapidly, and media exploitation of comics is now an important part of the business. How does this all fit together into the new business of comics? We bring together the thought leaders of the comics world to talk about their visions of the future for the business of comics.


This is a fairly essential lineup of topics facing the comics industry right now — I think this is going to be a seminal year of change and opportunity, and, to put this in total hype terms, you aren’t going to want to miss this!

Sign-up details in the link.

0 Comments on HYPE: ICv2 announces Conference on Comics and Digital II for NYCC as of 1/1/1900
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18. A Farewell to The Boys – The Series Wraps Up In November

By Todd Allen

Boys72 Cov Robertson 200x300 A Farewell to The Boys   The Series Wraps Up In NovemberOK, I admit it.  That cover graphic of all the super heroes going straight down the toilet cracks me up.  It’s also symbolic of The Boys. As the title ends in November, it is worth noting its strange journey.

The Boys is an off-color, if not outright profane, piss-take on super heroes, corporate America and the industrial-military complex’s incursions into politics.  Sometimes it’s more serious than others, but Garth Ennis shows off his dark sense of humor.  Regular readers may recall some amorous green monkeys, a beard made of blood and the phrase “if it has a hole…”

I probably can’t get much further than that without going far into NSFW territory.  That’s just the kind of comic it’s been.

The Boys started out at Wildstorm.  It was selling well for Wildstorm, but DC’s Publisher at the time, Paul Levitz, didn’t care for having that kind of raunchy material directed towards super heroes under DC’s banner (Wildstorm being a sub-imprint).  DC was surprisingly cool about letting The Boys switch publishers.  It landed at Dynamite and it quickly became apparent that Ennis had been toning it down a little at Wildstorm.  You wouldn’t have realized it until your started the Dynamite issues, though.

The Boys was arguably the highest profile creator-owned comic for a while, especially in it’s early years, when it was selling over 30K for awhile.  The sales have drifted down, with some of the inevitable shift to tpbs that long-running serials have, but as Ennis notes below, if you add in the varies companion mini’s, The Boys ran 90 issues, which is a good long run for an independent comic.  Actually, that’s a pretty decent run for a corporate comic, too.

Official PR follows:

THE BOYS CONCLUDES WITH ISSUE #72 THIS NOVEMBER!!!

THE END OF AN ERA!!!

August 16, 2012, Runnemede, NJ – It’s an end of an era this coming November, as The Boys conclude their historic run with issue #72!  The Boys has been one of the most critically acclaimed books on the shelves, but writer Garth Ennis always intended for the series to be finite and issue #72 is his final statement on The Boys!  Look for it this November!!!

In The Boys #72, the long day closes on the Brooklyn Bridge, as our hero finally meets his destiny. There’s one last deal to be done, As Stillwell finds out the real cost of doing business, and one last surprise for Rayner too- as she begins her long-dreamed of political career. The Boys’ story comes to an end in this final issue containing 24 pages of story, 5 pin-up pages of brand-new art as well as a complete cover gallery!!!

“Seventy-two issues plus three minis adds up to ninety issues, making this a very busy six years – more than six years, of course, because we very nearly didn’t make it,” says writer Garth Ennis.  ”But all’s well that ends well. I finished #72 well over a year before it’s due to see print, and I’ve been missing Butcher and Hughie ever since. Goodbye, B

9 Comments on A Farewell to The Boys – The Series Wraps Up In November, last added: 8/17/2012
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19. FIRST LOOK: Juan Doe’s Cover for The End Times of Bram and Ben #3

Lovely James Asmus has shared with us an exclusive first look at the cover for issue #3 of his upcoming Image miniseries The End Times of Bram and Ben, created by Juan Doe. It is LUSH.

EndTimes3 coverJD FIRST LOOK: Juan Does Cover for The End Times of Bram and Ben #3

The other three covers of this four-issue minseries will be drawn by a range of amazing artists, with Jim Mahfood on issue #1J.A.W. Cooper on issue #2, and Ben Templesmith drawing the final issue’s cover. Interior art will come from European artist Rem Broo.

The story of bloke called Bram whom God accidentally Raptures during the Apocalypse, The End Times subsequently sees The Almighty realise his mistake and throw Bram out of Heaven. Bram wakes up back on Earth, return to sender.

Aware that the end of the world is imminent and now armed with the knowledge of The Infinite,  Bram decides that the best thing to do with his unique perspective… is to immediately exploit it for his own benefit.

His poor old friend Ben is left to try and clean up the mess as Bram takes the world by storm — a few days before God does the same. The miniseries will be co-written by comedian Jim Festante, who describes it thus:

Why does religion paint morality as black and white? Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? If you’re doing what Satan wants, why would he torture you for eternity?

Um, we’re not sure, but End Times is a nice break from pondering deep theological thoughts.

Issue #1 of the miniseries is released January 9th, offering 32 pages for $2.99. Buy sixteen of them!

0 Comments on FIRST LOOK: Juan Doe’s Cover for The End Times of Bram and Ben #3 as of 12/12/2012 9:24:00 PM
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20. Comics come to Fox & Friends with Joe Palooka

Mychaels Standing Choke Comics come to Fox & Friends with Joe Palooka

Apocalypse now? Boxing announcer/comics publisher Joe Antonacci will be appearing this Friday on Fox & Friends to talk about the Joe Palooka comic which is launching this week from IDW. (Disclosure: We were a consultant on the project.) Hopefully, this will be a peaceful discussion of how awesome comics are and not a session on why Superman hates God and America.

The creator of one of 2012’s most anticipated comic book titles, the MMA comic book Joe Palooka, will be making an appearance on Friday, December 21st as a guest on the top-rated cable morning show Fox & Friends.

“This is a rare big-stage opportunity to talk about comic books and the great impact they can have on children of all ages,” said Joe Palooka creator Joe Antonacci who added, “I don’t plan to just push Joe Palooka, I want to send the message that comic books make great gifts and that there are gifts people will love at every price level waiting for you in your local comic book store.” Antonacci also sees his appearance as an opportunity to pay back the comic book community that has embraced him during the three-year odyssey of creating and publishing the Joe Palooka comic book. I have received so much encouragement and support from those in the comic book business, including from my publisher IDW, that I’m happy to pay them back in some small way by touting comic books, graphic novels, and character-based accessories as the perfect gift items for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

1 Comments on Comics come to Fox & Friends with Joe Palooka, last added: 12/18/2012
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21. Warren Ellis returns to Comics for ‘Scatterlands’ with Jason Howard

TweetWell, he’s not been away really. He did a one page story with the brilliant Tula Lotay for Thought Bubble’s 2012 anthology, for one thing. But he certainly hasn’t had a major project in quite a while, that’s for sure — and now his novel The Gun Machine is completed, it looks like Warren Ellis [...]

4 Comments on Warren Ellis returns to Comics for ‘Scatterlands’ with Jason Howard, last added: 1/23/2013
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22. Titan Comics Share ‘Declassified Military Files’ regarding Chronos Commandos #1

TweetTitan Comics, surging up like a dinosaur from a swarm of sleeping butterflies (that’ll make sense in a second, promise), have sent out some promotional material regarding the July launch of Stuart Jennett’s Chronos Commandos. A four-issue miniseries, the story (completely created by Jennett) sees the aforementioned Commandos fight dinosaurs, as they struggle to save [...]

0 Comments on Titan Comics Share ‘Declassified Military Files’ regarding Chronos Commandos #1 as of 1/30/2013 3:26:00 AM
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23. The Fables Cross Over into The Unwritten in May

TweetOr rather, as seen in this gorgeous Peter Gross/Mark Buckingham-drawn teaser image, the cast of Fables literally drag Tommy Taylor into their world.   Vertigo have released this promo for May’s issue #50 of Mike Carey’s excellent series, kicking off an arc which will see the book head into the world of Bill WIllingham’s Fables, [...]

10 Comments on The Fables Cross Over into The Unwritten in May, last added: 2/6/2013
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24. Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day Issue is INFINITY by Hickman and Cheung

TweetFree Comic Book Day is coming up, and Marvel have today revealed what their release is going to be – Infinity, by Jonathan Hickman and Jim Cheung. This looks like a prelude to the oft-rumoured cosmic event Marvel will be running in Autumn (why have just one event a year?). However, strangely enough there’s no [...]

1 Comments on Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day Issue is INFINITY by Hickman and Cheung, last added: 2/5/2013
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25. Second Opinion: Batman #17

TweetScott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman #17 came out this week, concluding their ‘Death of the Family’ storyline to universal approval from reviewers. But in all the rush to celebrate and praise, there’s been precious little evaluation of the book itself — many of the reviews, in fact, read more like a pre-emptive defense of the [...]

15 Comments on Second Opinion: Batman #17, last added: 2/15/2013
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