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Diamond just released its January figures and Marvel had a pretty thorough market share dominance, 41.05% dollar share and a 45.64% unit share to DC’s 24.18% dollar share and a 27.05% unit share. Periodical sales were down a bit from December but graphic novels were way up. Perhaps in the most chipper news, January 2015 was way up over January 2014, up 12.27% in dollars and 9.86% in units overall. Last year people were wondering if the whole thing was crashing but it was more of a sag.
All four Saga trades were in the top ten for the month if you’re wondering where the graphic novel boost came from. Thank you BKV and Fiona Staples.
TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
|DARK HORSE COMICS||4.01%||3.03%|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||7.61%||4.82%|
NEW TITLES SHIPPED
|PUBLISHER||COMICS SHIPPED||GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED||MAGAZINES SHIPPED||TOTAL|
|DARK HORSE COMICS||28||19||0||47|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||78||115||28||221|
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
|JANUARY 2015 VS. DECEMBER 2014|
|JANUARY 2015 VS. JANUARY 2014|
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
|1||STAR WARS #1||$4.99||NOV140709-M||MAR|
|3||AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #12||$3.99||OCT140832-M||MAR|
|4||AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13||$3.99||NOV140764-M||MAR|
|5||UNCANNY AVENGERS #1||$3.99||NOV140703-M||MAR|
|9||JUSTICE LEAGUE #38||$3.99||NOV140180-M||DC|
|10||THE WALKING DEAD #136 (MR)||$2.99||NOV140696||IMA|
TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
|1||DEATH OF WOLVERINE HC||$24.99||OCT140914-M||MAR|
|2||OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA VOLUME 1 TP||$9.99||OCT140637||IMA|
|3||SAGA VOLUME 4 TP (MR)||$14.99||OCT140644||IMA|
|4||BLACK SCIENCE VOLUME 2: WELCOME TO NOWHERE TP||$14.99||OCT140615||IMA|
|5||SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR)||$9.99||AUG120491||IMA|
|6||AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 2: SPIDER-VERSE PRELUDE TP||$17.99||OCT140932||MAR|
|7||SAGA VOLUME 3 TP (MR)||$14.99||JAN140556||IMA|
|8||SAGA VOLUME 2 TP (MR)||$14.99||APR130443||IMA|
|9||THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 1: DAYS GONE BYE TP (MR)||$14.99||NOV128157||IMA|
|10||DEADPOOL: THE ONES WITH DEADPOOL TP||$15.99||NOV140877||MAR|
TOP 10 BOOKS
|1||DC SUPER HEROES: BATMAN: THE ORIGIN STORY TP||$4.95||NOV141826||CAP|
|2||DC SUPER HEROES: WONDER WOMAN: THE ORIGIN STORY||$4.95||NOV141829||CAP|
|3||DC SUPER HEROES: SUPERMAN: THE ORIGIN STORY TP||$4.95||NOV141827||CAP|
|4||LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA HC||$34.99||SEP120055||DAR|
|5||DC SUPER HEROES: GREEN LANTERN: THE ORIGIN STORY TP||$4.95||NOV141828||CAP|
|6||LEGEND OF KORRA: ART OF ANIMATED SERIES BOOK 3: CHANGE HC||$34.99||SEP140051||DAR|
|7||IN SEARCH OF LOST DRAGONS HC||$34.99||AUG141289||DE|
|8||THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 91 SC||$14.95||NOV141854||SAN|
|9||BATMAN: YOU CHOOSE STORIES: THE JOKER’S DOZEN||$6.95||NOV141832||CAP|
|10||BATMAN: YOU CHOOSE STORIES: THE SEED BANK HEIST||$6.95||NOV141830||CAP|
TOP 10 TOYS
|1||LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD: LINK FIGMA||JUN132070||GOO|
|2||GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: ELECTRONIC DANCING BABY GROOT||SEP148110||KID|
|3||DC COMICS: WONDER WOMAN ARTFX STATUE||JUL142220||KOT|
|4||THE WALKING DEAD SERIES 6 ACTION FIGURES||APR148174||TMP|
|5||POP! GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: DANCING GROOT VINYL FIGURE||JUL148256||FUN|
|6||BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS PLAY ARTS KAI: THE JOKER||JUL148208||SQU|
|7||BATMAN “BLACK COSTUME” ARTFX STATUE||FEB121622||KOT|
|8||MARVEL SELECT: DEADPOOL ACTION FIGURE||MAR101468||DST|
|9||BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS PLAY ARTS KAI: ROBIN||JUL148207||SQU|
|10||MARVEL SPIDER-MAN 8-INCH RETRO ACTION FIGURE||MAY142225||DST|
TOP 10 GAMES
|1||MONOPOLY: THE WALKING DEAD SURVIVAL EDITION||OCT128266||USA|
|2||JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK MONOPOLY||DEC142209||DST|
|3||YU-GI-OH! HEROCLIX SERIES TWO||JUN142660||NEC|
|4||STAR WARS: IMPERIAL ASSAULT BOARD GAME||NOV142729||FAN|
|5||MARVEL DICE MASTERS: UNCANNY X-MEN SET-UP BOX||AUG142843||NEC|
|6||YU-GI-OH! DICE MASTERS SERIES ONE||NOV142759||NEC|
|7||ADVENTURE TIME CARD WARS PACK 1: FINN VS. JAKE||APR148197||CRY|
|8||X-FILES: THE BOARD GAME||MAY142832||IDW|
|9||MARVEL DICE MASTERS: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN BOOSTER PACKS||NOV132536||NEC|
|10||YU-GI-OH! DICE MASTERS SERIES ONE STARTER SET||NOV142761||NEC|
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Gareth Edwards‘ Star Wars spin-off that will see release on December 16, 2016 now has its star, as Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) has signed on for the lead role.
We know nothing about the picture at this point other than reports that it will deal with a “heist-like plot” surrounding the theft of the plans for the Death Star, and will precede A New Hope in the series time-line.
Jones’ biggest competition for the role was Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).
The film will be written by Chris Weitz (About a Boy) and the first of two known Star Wars spin-offs that will release in years between “proper” Star Wars episodes. Presumably, the Josh Trank directed spin-off will hit theaters in 2018.
To recap, your current Star Wars release time-line looks like this:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens directed by JJ Abrams – December 18, 2015
Untitled Star Wars Spin-off directed by Gareth Edwards – December 16, 2016
Star Wars Episode VIII directed by Rian Johnson – 2017
Untitled Star Wars Spin-off directed by Josh Trank – 2018
Star Wars Episode IX written by Rian Johnson – 2019
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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The amount of pressure on JJ Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens is starting to reach a fever pitch. One of the factors that Disney is counting upon is its ability to launch a number of spin-off films that will fill the year-long gaps between this newest installment, the upcoming Rian Johnson helmed Episode VIII, and the eventual Episode IX.
Gareth Edwards‘ film – the first of these stand-alones and reported to center on the heist-like premise of an attempt to steal the plans for the Death Star before the events of “A New Hope” – suffered its first set-back when writer Gary Whitta left the project.
THR is now reporting that Disney has found his replacement in writer Chris Weitz (A Better Life, The Golden Compass). Weitz is also the writer for the upcoming Cinderella film, and the writer/co-director for the Oscar-nominated About a Boy.
The Edwards directed Star Wars entry is set for release on December 16, 2016. It’s likely we’ll start to hear the first whispers of a cast fairly soon, provided the script can be whipped into shape in time.
This Star Wars thing has legs! Following on the million selling Star Wars #1, Darth Vader #1, the next Marvel foray into the land of the Force, has already topped 300,00 pre-orders, Comicbook.com reports. The issue is by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Salvador Larroca, and follows what happens after Vader goes spinning into space at the end of A New Hope…but BEFORE anyone brought him his shuttle. The next new marvel Book is Princess Leia #1 and that better top 100k, kids.
This issue will also have a BUNCH of variant covers, but maybe not 100 like SW #1. Here are two we liked the first by Whilce Portacio and second by Alex Ross.
With sales of more than a million copies and the number of confirmed variant covers at 89, Marvel’s first Star Wars #1 in nearly 40 years is already one of the best selling comics of the decade. It was assumed that a Loot Crate edition was part of what propelled the sales to the million dollar level and today’s unveiling of a Gabriele Dell’Otto cover for a Loot Crate variant. You can still get this variant by signing up for Loot Crate by January 19th at 9pm PST to get one—it’s part of a “REWIND” themed crate.
Appropriately, the cover shows Han and Chewie in the process of smuggling some loot.
Loot Crate if a monthly gift box filled with nerd and gamers themed merchandise, from toys to comics to apparel. Subscriptions begin at $13.37 for one month plus shipping and handling.
Star Wars #1 by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday and Laura Martin debuted on Wednesday with parties, signings and favorable reviews.
“It’s never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan,” says Axel Alonso, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief. “From film, to television to new comics from Marvel – the future is bright for a galaxy far, far away. We’ve worked closely with the Lucasfilm story group to produce gripping new stories in the Star Wars universe and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Loot Crate to help get this exciting first issue into the hands of thousands of new fans!”
“We’re incredibly honored and proud to present a unique variant version of Star Wars #1 to our Looters, and once again deliver comics to fans in a unique way,” adds Matthew Arevalo, co-founder and CXO of Loot Crate. “This continues our awesome partnership with Marvel, who is relaunching the Star Wars saga as only Marvel can!”
Cover by John Cassaday & Laura Martin
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: John Cassaday
Colors by: Laura Martin
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art by: John Cassaday & Laura Martin
Published by: Marvel Comics
By Matthew Jent
“I have a very good feeling about this.”
Star Wars returns to Marvel, and nearly every other ancillary, non-movie-adventure of Luke Skywalker & Co. has been wiped out of continuity. Back in December we knew that Star Wars #1 would be, almost certainly, the biggest-selling issue of the year with 1 million copies ordered by comics retailers and other outlets. The first issue hits stores this week, with launch parties, dozens of variant covers, and a major media push. But what about what’s actually on the page?
To put it simply: this feels like Star Wars.
The issue opens with a sequential art version of the familiar logo and opening crawl, picking up after the events of A New Hope. The art from John Cassaday and Laura Martin captures the gritty look and feel of the original trilogy, and perfectly replicates that Solo smirk, Luke’s boyishly optimistic determination, and Leia’s exasperation with a certain smuggler. From the setting to the faces to the clothing, this book looks like Star Wars. It also looks like a really good comic book — there’s a certain Wookiee sniper scene that uses panel layout and zoom-in transitions for a nice effect. This is a visual tale, well told by sequential artists.
The narrative is satisfying, too. This first issue is oversized, with 36 pages of story. Jason Aaron’s dialogue hits the exposition a little too hard in a few scenes, mostly in explaining (and then, a few pages later, explaining again) the rebel plan, but Han talks like Han and Leia talks like Leia. Luke doesn’t talk very much at all, but that feels right too — Cassaday & Martin’s artwork evokes those Mark-Hamill-eyes in a way that tells you this is a Luke Skywalker who’s blown up the Death Star, but has yet to get lost on Hoth. He’s still young, hopeful, and has taken his first steps into a larger world — but he’s largely untested. He’s struggling to live up to the few lessons imparted by Ben Kenobi, still trying to figure out what it means to hear the voice of his old mentor on the wind, and that yearning plays out in his actions more than in his words — just like it should.
The plot moves forward at an assured clip, and it feels fulfilling without being rushed. This story also feels — well, essential. Like this really is the next adventure of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, and not just a filled-in series of events between movies.
Criticisms can be made, but they’re small. While most of the characters sound like themselves, C-3P0 sounds … off. His dialogue sounds almost more like Data than Threepio, like he’s using too many words to communicate. And while it’s wonderful to see Leia on a mission with the Han and Luke, it’s unclear why she is on this particular mission for the rebel alliance, as the only role she plays in-story is to criticize and banter with Han.
But with lots of things Star Wars, I’ll happily take a few inconsistencies if it means having fun in this particular far-away galaxy. “Skywalker Strikes” by Aaron, Cassaday and Martin isn’t just a fun Star Wars story, it’s a well-done comic, and one of the most fulfilling first issue/reboots I’ve read from Marvel in a long time. It’s a promising start to a new era of space fantasy.
Got some Christmas loot you’re itching to spend? Various comics publishers and digital vendors have just what you need in the form of some tempting sales.
SEQUENTIAL, the “Criterion” of digital graphic novels is having a big sale, with more than 180 graphic novels from Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, NBM, Knockabout, and Koyama Press at 50-80% off. The list includes such 2014 best ofs as The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez, Beauty by Kerascoët, How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis, and more. Also From Hell, works by Lucy Knisley, James Kochalka, Mike Dawson and tons more good stuff. See the entire list here.
As joked above, Sequential offers its digital graphic novels with added material like commentary tracks, bonus art and more. If you got an iPad for Christmas, or just upgraded it, a stop at this sale (which goes until January 6th) is definitely called for.
Comixology is also having a bunch of sales including
A 50% off sale on Image comics published before 11/12, including Saga, Sex Criminals and 4000+ other titles. 2014 was the year of Image and if by some bizarre chance you’ve missed out on some of the great new books coming out, here’s another chance.
Comixology is also having a 50% off sale for Submit books, including the Testament Omnibus, Spike Trotman’s essential Poorcraft, minis by Becky Cloonan and Andrew Tsurumi, Aw Yeah Comics and tons more. Take a chance on something new!
Look at the size of that thing! Dark Horse is having a Star Wars farewell Megabundle sale. Just $300 gets you the entire Star Wars comics collection from Dark Horse, many of them excellent books that may never see the light of day again. As you know, starting in January, Marvel takes over the Dark Horse license and these books have been deemed not part of canon, so get ‘em while you can.
The listing doesn’t say how many pages are in this collection but there are 568 issues so its…thousands and thousands of pages of Star Wars. Good deal.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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A couple of news bits and a personal announcement to tackle this week, so let’s get right to it.
About a week ago, Marvel started to make a big deal over Star Wars #1 eclipsing 1,000,000 pre-orders from various retail outlets. While the company hinted at some of this quantity coming from less traditional sources, the number is still quite impressive, boasting the best direct market numbers for a single printing of a single issue in over twenty years. Despite all of the headache inducing rabble that I’m about to detail, that’s a number everyone involved with the creation, sales and marketing of the series should be proud of.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pound my head against my keyboard while I detail the variant structure of this particular release.
Check it out, it’s Bucky O’Hare you guys. Shut up, it is too.
As you’ve probably heard by now, there are an impressive amount of variant covers being produced for this comic. To start, Marvel tossed a grand total of 13 wide-market variants on top of the regular comic for all retailers to order and obtain. These 13 books had qualifiers that ranged from “1 for every 15 copies ordered” to “1 for every 500 copies ordered”. Four of them required retailers to exceed 200% of their Original Sin #8 numbers in order to get any books in – which is probably the clearest indication of where Marvel wanted the book to be in terms of sales. Original Sin #8 clocked in at an estimated 90,478 copies sold, which means they were probably aiming at the 200,000 as a “worst case scenario”.
These alone wouldn’t have brought Star Wars #1 even close to the 1,000,000 mark – so where does all that extra push come from? Many are pointing in the vague direction of alternative distribution and awaiting news on what nerd box corporation sprung for a few hundred thousand copies – and while that’s probably part of the answer, a good chunk is also coming from the retailer exclusive variants Marvel offered retailers.
In one of their missives to the retail community, Marvel let it be known that any retailer or retail group could have their own variants produced. These variants would be completely unique and would potentially utilize some big name talent to create a unique image that would appear on a cover exclusive to that retailer. The catch? You had to order at least 3,000 copies and order 200% more of the regular cover than you did for Original Sin #8. It appears quite a few retailers have taken them up on this offer, as the total of variants floating out are currently sitting at 57. Now, some of these are black and white “sketch” variants of the retail exclusive variants, which you could seemingly produce as little as 1,500 copies of, but the point remains: Marvel went full variant crazy when pushing this book. Will it work for them? In the short term, of course. They’re going to have one of their biggest January’s in a long time thanks to Star Wars alone, probably, and there will almost assuredly be enough product on the shelves to meet whatever demand might arise. In the long term? When a company digs this deep into variants and qualifiers, I always worry about the long lingering after effects. The practice of asking retailers to potentially overextend themselves to chase rare items almost always ends with product chocking out storage space and back issue bins. It manipulates the regulatory curve of supply and demand, and takes cash on hand and turns it into dead weight that’s harder to turn over, both of which can and will result in various levels of hardships. Too much of this and a store, a company, or an industry breaks. And wouldn’t that be fun.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH
Last week, the DC solicitations for March revealed a culling for the company, and the internet had some words about it. Because of course it did. The company is heading into their big move across the country with quite a few stagnant books and a line-wide crossover eating up their publishing schedule. In short, it was the right call to dust a large portion of their books in order to arrive back in June with a refocused creative direction. That said, the sheer volume of titles on the chopping block still makes this feel like a defeat of some kind.
What DC needs here is for their PR department to pick up the copious amount of slack that’s roped on the floor. I know they’re already having a hard time convincing people that Convergence is going to be a big, important thing with the structure they chose, but they really shouldn’t be spending too much time and effort on that. Convergence is a crossover series, and it’s been designed as a two-month respite from The New 52 universe. Each and every one of their 40 two part minis seem to nudge the reader in the ribs and say, “Hey, remember when this was happening?” – and it’s going to do very little in the way of drawing a wide audience. June, on the other hand, stands a chance to be spectacular, and the company should be teasing it now. As it stands, DC looks like it’s flailing as a large chunk of their newly launched books limp to an end, and others that were a bit long in the tooth drop along side them. They need to come out and say this is all in service of something, or else people are going to run with a less positive narrative. It’s all about perception, and right now, DC is losing the battle. Here’s hoping they win the war.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
As of December 31st, I will no longer be the manager of a comic shop. After spending a little over 8 years at Wizard’s Comics, I’m moving on to a different role within this great industry. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what that is yet – but I thought it would be pertinent to let you all know of this change, as it will clearly effect what I write for this site. A hint regarding the future: while I won’t be a store manager, I will still be writing similar articles about the industry for Comics Beat, and they will start on January 12th. You might be surprised. You probably won’t be.
Until then, you’ll probably see me contribute the odd news post or opinion piece here or there, but otherwise, I will be busy putting together the next phase of my life – so if we don’t talk until then, have a fantastic holiday season!
With nothing else to do but digest turkey and fight crowds, the internerd has quickly turned, just as we knew it would, to the “Claymore” lightsabre in the new Star Wars: TFA trailer. This lightsaber not only has a blade, but two mini lightsabers coming out of each hilt, reminiscent of the real universe blade the Claymore, a giant sword that had little swords as hilts. The “Claymore saber” would seem to be highly…cumbersome to use as you would be in eminent danger of stabbing yourself with your own hilt at all times. But…it looks cool, so what.
The weapon quickly meme’d out:
Buzzfeed has a poll about it.
And so on. Personally, we think whoever made the sword just decided to make a tricked out, lowrider lightsaber, damn the practicalities, becuae that’s what you do.
BTW for the shot by shot speculation and spoilters, io9 has a good breakdown. And for all your spoiler/leak needs, Star Wars Underworld. I’m not going to be one of those people who hangs on every leak and makes baby JJ Abrams cry, so read at your own risk.
The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been officially released on Youtube, Itunes and in theaters. THe film opens in 13 months, so don’t jump over the barricade just yet.
Nice opening shot with John Boyega showing that not all stormtroopers are Django Fett any more. And Shaky-cam tracking shotof the Millenium Falcon showing that this is not a George Lucas movie. Also brief shot os Daisy Ridley riding some kind of uncomfortable transport vehicle and I think Domhnall Gleeson as a fighter pilot?
And a t-shaped lightsaber just because.
One theater in Texas is showing this teaser on repeat for an hour or so.
Huh, well blow me down with a womp rat. Over the 20 years of Dark Horse’s Star Wars license they built up a healthy business in selling collected editions of their “expanded universe” stories. However that ended when Disney purchased Lucesfilm and reassigned the Star Wars license to their “in house ” publisher Marvel.
Although the entire “expanded universe” is expected to be rewritten in the wake of Episode VII coming next year, many thought the comics would go to the big remaindered table in the sky, especially since Marvel’s graphic novel backlist is, ahem, a work in progress.
Well, it’s turns out Marvel couldn’t resist the low hanging fruit of keeping the Dark Horse Star Wars comic in print — at least in a $34.99 collectors edition in the “Epic Collection” format. The first collection will be out in April, 2015, leading the way to the new film.
ANd perhaps, the content of these reprints would even give a clue to wheat might still be canon in the new Star Wars timeline?
Marvel is excited to announce the release of an oversized dose of a galaxy far, far, away – Star Wars comics are coming to Marvel’s prestigious Epic Collection format – STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB.
Let the dark times begin! Marvel welcomes Star Wars to the Epic Collection program, with this first volume of a series focusing on the years that follow Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith! After the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic has fallen and Palpatine exerts his ruthless grip on his new Galactic Empire. Now, the few Jedi that remain must decide whether to hold true to their faith, or abandon it completely in the face of a brutal purge — one carried out by the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Rise, Darth Vader!
“We’re thrilled to be bringing our innovative Epic Collections to a galaxy far, far away,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “We’ll be bouncing around to different periods of Star Wars history with each Epic Collection, constructing one huge tapestry, collecting full unbroken runs of all the greatest Star Wars comics from the past 35 years.”
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB. will offer a new way for fans to collect and read iconic Star Wars stories across the past 35 years of published titles. These oversized, self-contained color collections will bring the adventures of the Rebellion, the Galactic Empire and more to the masses with exciting new Epic Collections.
COLLECTING: STAR WARS: REPUBLIC 78-80, STAR WARS: PURGE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — SECONDS TO DIE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — THE HIDDEN BLADE 1, STAR WARS: PURGE — THE TYRANT’S FIST 1-2, STAR WARS: DARTH VADER AND THE LOST COMMAND 1-5, STAR WARS: DARK TIMES 1-5
AUTHOR: JOHN OSTRANDER, RANDY STRADLEY, HADEN BLACKMAN, ALEXANDER FREED
ARTIST: LUKE ROSS , DOUGLAS WHEATLEY, JIM HALL, CHRIS SCALF, MARCO CASTIELLO, ANDREA CHELLA, RICK LEONARDI
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB.
WRITTEN BY JOHN OSTRANDER, RANDY STRADLEY, HADEN BLACKMAN & ALEXANDER FREED
ART BY LUKE ROSS, DOUGLAS CASTIELLO, ANDREA CHELLA & RICK LEONARDI
440 PGS./Rated T …$34.99
On-Sale April 2015
© 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. Used under authorization. All rights reserved.
Howdy, folks. I have news for you. Did you have any idea that a children’s literature online show called KidLit TV was in the works? Nor did I until I stopped by Roxie Munroe’s studio the other day. She informed me that man-about-town Rocco Staino had been by with an honest-to-goodness film crew to talk to her about this new series. Calling itself, “The video resource for the greater kidlit community” it’s launching this fall. Here’s the first video so far:
Okay. I admit it. I’m a sucker for cute kids. Thank goodness they don’t do many lemonade stands in my neighborhood or I’d be without a dime in my pocket. So when I saw this video about the Dr. Seuss Wants You! Indiegogo campaign, I was hooked. These gals are trying to raise funds so that their school library can have its very own librarian. Resist their cuteness if you can!
Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
You know what I love? Shakespeare. You know what I love even more than Shakespeare? Graphic novels. You know what I love even more than Shakespeare and graphic novels? Book trailers. Now all three of the things I love have combined in this trailer for The Stratford Zoo Presents MacBeth. I have read and loved the book (Lady MacBeth as a spotted animal = brilliance). Originally premiering on Watch. Connect. Read., do be so good as to enjoy it.
Many of you have probably seen this but the IKEA BookBook ad is rather charming.
Which, in turn, is not too dissimilar from this faux Amazon Prime Air Launch ad.
Thanks to Michael Stusser for the link.
Ooo. Lisa Von Drasek! Now that she’s moved to Minnesota (I am not even kidding when I say how envious I am) I don’t get to see her around and about anymore. Fortunately somebody out there (U of M, presumably) did this kickin’ recording of her conversation with Kate DiCamillo. For those of you more familiar with Kate, come for the DiCamillo, stay for the Von Drasek.
By the way, this is the first I’ve ever heard of IFLA. Anyone else out there feel as out of it as me?
Good old Ed Spicer. Not only does he come out for every book signing I do in Michigan but he records my blabberings and puts them online. This recent posting went up in conjunction with Wild Things but was filmed several years ago. If you’re interested in me with the talkety talk, enjoy.
As for today’s Off-Topic Video, I am thoroughly indebted to Dan Santat. It’s the final ceremony of Star Wars done without the soundtrack. As my friend Dan McCoy said of it, “Over and above the comedy, this actually let me see Star Wars with new eyes, for the first time in decades, which is amazing.”
Many thanks to Dan Santat for the vid.
I’m sure the Germans have a word for when you get two pages into reading a book and realise it’s the second one in a series instead of the first. Whatever that word is, it applies to me, having just experienced that with Jeffrey Brown’s Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan. The ‘return’ should probably […]
There are times when the imagination kicks in and it becomes so real that it becomes almost like a mini vision of some sort. This is one of those moments when I saw the Korean pear sitting on the counter, I saw very clearly the R2D2 sitting there. About a month ago right after Ira […]
Next week is the release of STAR WARS: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. To celebrate, I’ll be doing events in my hometown, New York City, Boston, Austin and Miami.
Along with some familiar faces from “a galaxy far, far away”, I’ll be presenting and signing at my favorite hometown indie bookstore, The Odyssey Bookshop. Space is limited, so you’ll need to RSVP sooner than later. If you cannot make it the shop can take your order and ship a signed book to you.
From there, I’ll zoom down New York for NY Comic Con where the STAR WARS fun continues. As well, I am signing at the Dark Horse Comics booth and giving out a FREE promotional print for my upcoming book, REALMS: The Role Playing Game Art of Tony DiTerlizzi. Here’s the New York Comic Con schedule:
Autographing: Promotional Print for “REALMS: The RPG Art of Tony DiTerlizzi”
Saturday 12PM – 12:50 PM, Dark Horse Booth
This image of a classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons kobold marks a return to my roots as an illustrator for the beloved roleplaying game. Along with collecting my artwork from Planescape, Changeling and Magic the Gathering, REALMS will also feature a series of new paintings of some of my favorite monsters and characters from the game that started it all. We’ll be giving out this 12×18″ print FREE at the Dark Horse Comics booth, so come on by!
Panel Name: STORMTROOPERS vs. RED SHIRTS
Sunday 11AM – 11:45 AM ET, Room 1A18
Conflicts in galaxies far far away have entertained us since the dawn of science fiction, but it we owe it to Star Trek and Star Wars helped to bring science fiction to the forefront of pop culture. Tony DiTerlizzi (The Adventure of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight), Jack Campbell (The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword), Karen Bao (Dove Arising), Tony Abbott (Copernicus Legacy: The Serpent’s Curse), Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14), Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam (Etherworld) discuss skiffy upbringings and these two influential classics. A formal autographing will take place immediately after the panel at Table 19 in the autographing area.
While in New York City, I’ll be participating in “Star Wars Reads Day” at Books of Wonder along with some other notable Jedi, including Tom Angleberger.
STAR WARS Reads Day
Saturday, October 11th, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Join us for this spectacular event in a galaxy far, far away…
TOM ANGLEBERGER Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda #6)
TONY DiTERLIZZI The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight
PABLO HIDALGO for Star Wars Rebels: A New Hero
MICHAEL KOGGE for Star Wars Rebels: Rise of the Rebels
MATTHEW REINHART for Star Wars: A Pop Up Guide to the Galaxy
Later in the month, I’ll be attending several book festivals, including:
Boston Book Festival
Saturday, October 25th, 12:30 – 1:00 PM ET
First Church of Boston Auditorium
66 Marlborough St.
Boston, MA 02116
* I will be pre-signing books at 11:30 AM prior to my presentation
Texas Book Festival
Sunday, October 26th, 2:45 – 3:30 PM CT
The Capitol, Extension Room E.2.028
1100 Congress Avenue, Between 11th and 12th Streets
Austin, TX 78701
*I shall be signing at the book signing tent immediately following my presentation.
Miami Book Fair
Angela and I will both be presenting and signing at this favorite Florida fair. Look for schedule and details soon.
has unveiled Joe Quesada’s variant cover to Star Wars
#1. The first Marvel issue of the 21st century will debut in
January with story by Jason Aaron, and art by John Cassaday and
Laura Martin. Marrtin colored Quesada’s cover. Marvel’s CCO
I was asked to give a quote
about this cover and to tell fans about the first time I saw Star
Wars or how it completely changed my life, but it’s a story I’m
sure isn’t all that interesting when compared to the countless
others that have been told, much more eloquently, by so many before
me,” said Quesada. “While each of us has had our unique moments of
discovery and love affair with the property there’s nothing that I
think I could say or add that hasn’t been said before and
truthfully it really isn’t all that important because It’s that
love for Star Wars that binds all of us who share those unique
moments like the Force itself. That’s why when I was offered the
opportunity to do this cover I was both thrilled beyond belief and
as nervous as I was when I did my very first professional work over
twenty years ago. To have the opportunity to illustrate the classic
cast members in one piece has been by far one of the highlights of
my career as an artist. I can only hope that it turned out okay and
that maybe, just maybe, I get the chance to do it again
I like it, but no
USA TODAY: October 2nd, 2014: ‘Star Wars’ trilogy is retold in new kids’ book
Tony DiTerlizzi’s 7-year-old daughter Sophia already is a huge Star Wars nerd, and he’s getting ready to spread the love to a whole new generation of fans.
The children’s picture book The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight (out Tuesday) kicks off a new series of Star Wars books from Disney Publishing for the younger set. Older sci-fi geeks will love it, too, because it retells George Lucas’ original Star Wars movie trilogy using the artwork of conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie.
McQuarrie, an Oscar-winning illustrator who also worked on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the original Battlestar Galactica, was one of the first artists tapped by Lucas in the mid-1970s to begin visualizing what his Star Wars universe would look like.
“It’s such a great experience to look into that process of visualizing this world that we all know and love so much as it was being formed,” says DiTerlizzi, 45, the author, artist and co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles series with Holly Black. He will appear at New York City’s Books of Wonder on Oct. 11 for the third annual Star Wars Reads Day, and DiTerlizzi also is on a Star Wars/Star Trek panel at New York Comic Con Oct. 12.
The writer talks with USA TODAY about working on the new book, McQuarrie’s influence and how today’s generation connects with Star Wars differently than his did.
…Read the complete interview, as well as watch an exclusive video, at USA TODAY.
Not at New York Comic Con? Want to get your geek on, or earn some cool cred from younger relatives?
This Saturday, nationwide, is Star Wars Read Day!
The many publishing partners of Disney/Lucasfilm are collaborating for the third year, encouraging children of all ages to celebrate the myriad stories and cool books in the Star Wars universe!
Find out more, at their Facebook page! Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million stores are hosting events, and if you’re in New York, head down to the Scholastic store in SoHo! They’ve got Kazu Kibuishi at Noon, and then Star Wars from 2-4!
Star Wars Reads Day Strikes Back October 11, 2014
Bookstores and libraries will once again feel the power of the Force.
Disney Publishing Worldwide and its publishing partners announced today the third annual Star Wars Reads Day, to be held October 11, 2014. Last year, Star Wars authors and costumed volunteers participated in over 2,000 Star Wars Reads Day events across North America and, for the first time, around the world. On October 11 of this year, Star Wars fans, authors, and artists will again come together in this multi-publisher initiative that celebrates reading and Star Wars. Participating publishing partners include Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, Disney Book Group, DK, Klutz, Quirk Books, Random House Audio, Scholastic, and Workman Publishing.
“With the debut of our new animated series Star Wars Rebels launching on Disney XD this Fall, and the upcoming theatrical release of Episode VII in 2015, our third Star Wars Reads Day comes at an exciting time,” says Carol Roeder, Director of Lucasfilm Franchise Publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide.
The following authors are confirmed to participate in official Star Wars Reads Day events: Chris Alexander (Star Wars Origami), Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda series), Jeffrey Brown (Goodnight Darth Vader, Star Wars: Jedi Academy), Troy Denning (Star Wars: Crucible), Ian Doescher (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, William Shakespeare’s Empire Striketh Back, William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return), Jason Fry (LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: Updated and Expanded, Star Wars in 100 Scenes), Daniel Lipkowitz (LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles), John Jackson Miller (Star Wars: Kenobi), Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas (Star Wars: Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual), Daniel Wallace (The Bounty Hunter Code, The Jedi Path), and Ryder Windham (Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Star Wars Rebels Junior Novel).
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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by Alexander Jones
Marvel Comics just unveiled a ton of new information regarding their publishing line, and even announced some brand new female-led titles. The news broke at Marvel’s Cup O’ Joe Panel, where Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, announced a brand new crossover with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, the All-New X-Men, Star-Lord, Cyclops and Nova. The crossover is entitled The Black Vortex and begins in February 2015. The Black Vortex is said to be an ancient artifact, that sort of functions like the cosmic cube, it unlocks the hidden potential within an individual. It also seems like this crossover is going to be more focused on the cosmic side of the publisher’s massive world. The Black Vortex has an Alpha special drawn by Ed McGuinness that launches the story, followed by an Omega special also drawn by Ed McGuinness that ends the story.
The Star Wars titles are all confirmed to be coming in February including Star Wars #1, Darth Vader #1, and Princess Leia #1. Another Star Wars title was announced as Star Wars – Kanan: The Last Padawan by Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz which is coming in April of 2015.
Captain America #1 and Avengers & X-Men: AXIS Act II Inversion both kick off in November.
Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso chimed in with this amusing quote:
“Wolverine is dead next Wednesday, Rocket Racoon is arguably one of the most popular superheroes in the world, Thor is a woman, Captain America is African-American – did you ever think that you would see that?”
Speaking of their most beloved new female characters, Marvel has just announced Operation S.I.N. utilizing Peggy Carter of the upcoming television series. Some of the other S.H.I.E.L.D. architects like Howard Stark are also going to make an appearance in the story. The event has the same trade dress as Original Sin, and is said to spin out of that story. It’s written by Kathryn Immonen with art from Rich Ellis.
James Patterson’s Maximum Ride is coming to Marvel in graphic novel form. The first five issues of the book will launch in Spring 2015. The adaptation is written by Marguerite Bennett and Alex Sanchez.
Whew, that was quite a few announcements!
The celebration for last week’s release of The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight continue with an interview, an essay and a review.
Here’s the link to my Star Wars dot com essay.
…and an interview over at Yahoo Movies.
…and lastly a review in the Wall Street Journal.
Many thanks to my fellow Jedi who came out to support me at the launch party at Odyssey Books as well as ‘Star Wars Reads Day’ at New York City’s Books of Wonder. Here’s some snaps (courtesy of my loverly wife, Angela):
Darth Vader ALWAYS gets his book.
Look at the size of this thing! There are so many puns to be made and this Humble Bundle pr makes the most of them. And while Marvel may be publishing Star Wars now, Dark Horse has a mighty backlist of Star Wars classics. Sp get in on this pay what you want download. ALSO for the first time, Dark Horse is offering DRM-free downloads.
Oni’s Humble Bundle just ended with $149,733.13 and 13,023 purchases, BTW.
These are the comics you’re looking for. Humble Bundle and Dark Horse Comics have teamed up to launch the Humble Star Wars Comics Bundle today. Starting at 11 a.m. PDT, fans of the epic sci-fi franchise can pay what they want for up to $190 worth of digital comics, all while supporting a great cause.
Customers can pay what they want for Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago… Volume 1, Star Wars: Empire Volume 1 – Betrayal, Star Wars: Jedi Volume 1 – The Dark Side, Star Wars: Crimson Empire Volume 1, Star Wars: Darth Maul Death Sentence and Star Wars: Blood Ties – Jango and Boba Fett. Those who pay more than the average price will also unlock Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command, Star Wars: The Old Republic Volume 1 – Blood of the Empire, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Volume 1 – Commencement, Star Wars: Legacy Volume 1 – Broken and Star Wars: Dark Times Volume 1 – The Path to Nowhere. Hardcore fans who pay $15 or more will receive all of the above, plus Star Wars Volume 1: In the Shadow of Yavin, bringing this bundle to a total of 89 issues of Star Wars comics.
As with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their purchase dollars are allocated, between the comic creators and charity. The Humble Star Wars Comics Bundle defies the dark side and supports the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium. Thanks to the generosity of the Humble Bundle community, more than $47 million has been contributed to more than 30 different causes to date.
The Humble Star Wars Comics Bundle runs for two weeks and ends on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 11 a.m. PDT. For more information, please visit https://www.humblebundle.com/books
By: Betsy Bird
Blog: A Fuse #8 Production
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- Me stuff. You have been warned. So the first thing to know today is that this coming Saturday I’ll be speaking at the Eric Carle Museum about Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature. It will prove to be an amusing talk and if you live in the area I’d desperately love it if you could attend. I’d like to see your smiling faces, rather than the sea of empty chairs that greets me whenever I close my eyes and imagine worst case scenarios. It will be at 1 p.m. In other news, the panel I conducted on Native Fiction was summarized at Tu Books as well as a rather in-depth write-up in Publishers Weekly. So well done there. Finally Jules and I were interviewed in conjunction with our book by Cynthia Leitich Smith over at Cynsations. Woohoo!
- And for those of you who know who Suzuki Beane is, enjoy this little GIF of her dancing up a storm. If I were ever to get a tattoo it would be one of those images. Or this one. Thanks to Sara O’Leary for the GIF.
- Monica Edinger was kind enough to field some questions from Jules and me about obscure Alice in Wonderland facts. I thought I’d heard them all, but that was before I learned about Harry, Alice Liddell’s older, forgotten brother. A boy who existed before Alice? There’s a book in that . . .
- Okay. So we all know that we need diverse books. Understood. Done. But where precisely do you find lists of such titles? Check out the all new Where to Find Diverse Books site. Everything from books on disability to Islam to LGBTQIA is included. Think something’s missing? Let ‘em know!
- Things I Didn’t Know: So when we talk about podcasts of children’s literature we rarely consider the academic side of things. Imagine then my delight when I discovered the Raab Children’s Literature Podcasts created for the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection and the Teachers for a New Era Project. Quite the listing!
- And speaking of Things I Didn’t Know (a topic worthy of its own post, I suspect) Jules recently discovered that there is such a thing as a Coretta Scott King Book Awards Fair out there. Did you know that? I, for one, did not. The event “celebrates the Coretta Scott King Awards, those authors and illustrators who have received the award, and books that (as the Award states) demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture.” Jules interviews the organizer and founder of the event, Collette Hopkins. Interested in bringing it to your city? Read on.
- So I was moderating a panel at a Penguin Random House teacher event this past Monday (I’m just dropping the “Me Stuff” left and right today) and one of the giveaways was Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. I’m sure you’re familiar with it. It seemed like a cute gimmick and I thought maybe to snag a copy and give it to my brother for Christmas or something. Little did I realize that it’s actually a rather brilliant piece of work. From R2-D2′s soliloquy placing him squarely as a trickster character in the vein of a Puck, to Han Solo’s line after shooting Greedo (“[To innkeeper] Pray, goodly Sir, forgive me for the mess. / [Aside] And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!”) I was hooked the minute I read it. My husband’s been on a bit of a Star Wars kick himself as of late. First there was his three part series on “Why We Like Luke Skywalker”. Matt posed the question to James Kennedy and got an epic response that is worth reading in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Then there was Matt’s post on what Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener and Star Wars have in common. There are other Star Wars posts as well that are worth discovering but I think these make for pretty in-depth reading anyway.
- Daily Image: With Halloween on the horizon it’s time to start thinking about costumes. For inspiration, why not check out BuzzFeed’s 31 Amazing Teacher Halloween Costumes? Lots of children’s literature references in there. Three of my favorites included:
Thanks to Kate for the link.
IT HAD TO HAPPEN.
Jaxxon, the giant green rabbit who made an unforgettable impression in the FIRST EVER original Marvel Star Wars story in issue #7 from 1978…is coming back.
But only on the cover of the Star Wars #1 “Party” Variant Cover, as depicted by artist John Tyler Christopher.
If you were a kid in 1978 who had read the Marvel Comics adaptation of the original film (complete with Biggs Darklighter) you may remember the trembling hands with which you picked up issues #7 at the 7-11—a brand new Star Wars story! In a time before licensing became vast and multi media was everywhere, this was it! A NEW STORY. And then you opened it up and saw that writer Roy Thomas and artist Howard Chaykin had teamed Han Solo and Chewie with a bunch of misfits on a faraway planet in a rewrite of Seven Samurai. And one of the misfits was a seven foot tall green rabbit.
Because in space, there was infinite diversity.
It is said that Star Wars creator George Lucas did not care for Jaxxon, and perhaps it is this incident that sent him spiraling off in his x-wing to become the inscrutable dark lord that he later became. Or maybe the Howard the Duck movie was revenge. Or more likely, Jar Jar Binks was the true revenge. Perhaps we will never know.
Anyway, this fanciful cover has brought Jaxxon back, if only in an imaginary symbolic cover. “‘Star Wars’ has always been an important part of Marvel’s history and we knew we wanted to honor that legacy with a callback to the original Marvel Comics ‘Star Wars’ series,” said David Gabriel, Marvel’s SVP Sales & Marketing in a statement. “We think old and new fans alike will be just as excited as we are to see Jaxxon, even if it’s only for this fun variant cover.”
But is this the last we’ve seen of Jaxxon? The new Star Wars debuts in January with writer Jason Aaron and artist John Cassaday at the helm. Aaron has joked that he’d like to bring Jaxxon back…but it wouldn’t be the first time. In The Clone Wars, the skeleton of Jaxxon was briefly seen…another casualty in the war between silliness and seriousness, no doubt.
Not really, it’s just a joke, but I wanted to say that.
Jeebus it’s dueling franchises today as the actual title of Star Wars Vii, the very first SEQUEL was released. And it’s…
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
OR SW:TFA as we will all call it, because “The Force Awakens” is a horrible title.
“Man, remember the closing scene in The Force Awakens? It was RADICAL.”
It should have been called RISING FORCE. Everyone would like to say that!
“What are you doing this weekend, dude?”
“Going to see Rising Force again!!!”
Possible plot lines? The force may awaken in youngsters or oldsters. Or Han Solo, who is battling broken leg and has trouble standing up let alone awakening.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS opens on December 18th, 2015, a year and a day later than THE HOBBIT THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES, so we’ll have some continuity there. It stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie, along with returning stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker and Warwick Davis.
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Dave Dorman, voted “#1 Star Wars Artist of All Time” by fans, we’re told, is having an online STAR WARS Holiday Print Sale of the remaining Artist Proofs he has available in his limited private inventory. The sales runs until Dec. 31st and order will be shipped free worldwide.
Dorman recently announced on his blog that he would not be attending Star Wars Celebration 7, as he was not a chosen artist for Celebration, so this is the last opportunity for many to collect the pieces they wanted to add to their collection at Celebration.
The pieces Dorman offers during his Holiday Sale include:
• Breaking Ground: Imperial Base, Moon of Endor from Star Wars Celebration 6 for $75
• A Slight Disturbance in the Force on the Battlefield of Hoth from Star Wars Celebration 5 for $75
• Lord Vader’s Persuation of the Outer Rim Worlds to Join the Empire from Star Wars Celebration 4 for $125
• Incident on the Jundland Wastes, Tatooine from Star Wars Celebration Europe for $100
• Rise of the Sith from Star Wars Celebration 3 for $50
• Plus many more Artist Proofs from his personal archives remaining from the duration he held a license with Lucasfilm.
Doran has more to say about his art not being accepted at Celebrations 7 here:
Well, now that Lucasfilm has announced the artists selected for the SW Celebration 7 Art Show, I can publicly confirm that I was not selectedto participate this year. It is with great sadness and disappointment that I am now announcing this, but the judging has been made, and there is no reversing that.
The judging was done differently this year, asking for comps of the art proposed, then submitted anonymously to be judged.
There was no respect for the reputation or the years of good will put in by any artist–just the comp, rough, or finished art submitted for approval.
So…here was my piece–a color rough featuring Vader continuing to pursue the genocide of the Jedi after Order 66. I guess I missed the mark in idea… or perhaps not doing a more finished rough..it’s not EU… ties directly into the gap between EP3 and 4…