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This is the part where we fellow journos log roll, right? CBR News Editor Kiel Phegley has the most delightful Comic-Con recap, from yachts to Joe Keatinge to Elijah Wood to Whit Spurgeon. And so many potential quotes of the day. Is it THIS:
* One more observation from the floor: when you’re a fan walking around San Diego and you see people in the biz chatting each other up, you may wonder what they’re talking about. Maybe they’re talking about the proliferation of comics culture in the world? Maybe they’re talking about the profits and perils of digital comics? Maybe they’re talking about some rad new series you won’t see for another six months? No, I’m just messing with you. What they’re talking about is “how much the other publishers booths suck balls compared to theirs, because you think our booth is the best one of the floor this year, right?” Booth envy. IT’S ACTUALLY A THING.
On Saturday night, Ben and I embarked on the world’s nerdiest, boringest episode of “The Amazing Race” ever when we tried to go out to eat with about a dozen Marvel staffers. 1.5 hours and seven restaurants later, we ended up eating alone in a diner with My Little Pony on the walls.
But no, probably for the future of comics it is THIS:
In other words, Monkeybrain is to the 2010s what First and Pacific were to the 1980s.
Seriously. I feel like it is New Year’s Day again now that you-know-what is over. I can clean the closets, file things away, start NEW projects and just get on with life. BONUS: Comic-Con was so early this year that I actually have five weeks of summer left! Next year it will be back to normal, held July 18-21 with Preview Night on July 17th.
As befits a hangover, I’m trying really hard not to drag out our coverage any more. One or two more panel reports that were in the queue, and my own wrap-up. Commensurate with the month long frenzy of build up, everyone wants to forget about it as soon as possible when its over. The one exception may be an ongoing listing of panel audio; every year so many great panels, they really deserve wider dissemination. But after tomorrow NO MORE COMIC-CON POSTS. Promise.
Speaking of new projects, one of the ways I’m getting on with my life is getting back to fixing up the Beat! A redesign and server move is underway that should patch up the database so there aren’t any more nasty crashes whenever there’s the merest traffic surge. My jerry-rigged fix before the con actually held up during the show, despite traffic going up 50%. The fix did not stand up to the getting home wave on the Tuesday after the show, which I accurately predicted would be the biggest day of all. It’s really funny how everyone gets home and hits the Beat (and other sites) first thing in the morning to see what actually happened.
Anyway, I’m tanned, rested and ready to pick up the pieces of my life. Moving on.
[Each year we try to find a newcomer to the amazements of Comic-Con to report on their adventures; it's a nice way of seeing the very real enthusiasm for what is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. This year's con virgin is cartoonist Matthew Petz who offered to both write and sketch some of his experiences at the con, starting with not even having a badge... Here's his first report.]
What day is it?
Seriously…with SDCC a day behind me I can finally get around to writing up my experiences. In a nutshell, it lived up to the hype. Good and bad.
I knew the trip was going to be all that and a bag of chips when my flight had the Comedian (Jeffery Dean Morgan) and real live penguins! Seriously, the penguins had been on the Today show and were going back to the San Diego Zoo. Mid flight the handlers brought them through the cabin to a 100 camera phones clicking away. Mine included.
I landed in SD at 8:30 local time, but 11:30 my time. Jet lag would continue to haunt me the whole weekend…no doubt the late nights and drinking didn’t help. Oh well. I dropped my bags at the Bay Front Hilton, and taxied over to the iFanboy party to meet up with friends. I was there MAYBE 5 minutes before we all bailed, I think the iFanboy thing was wrapping up and the roof was transforming into a club?
Our party of 7 split cars and headed to the Hyatt…but seconds into MY ride we changed plans and end up at the CBLDF party.
Thus is the SDCC…It’s a manic pop culture free for all that never ever lets up.
Shit happens, then it doesn’t, then it happens again, and then plans change and then you end up… somewhere. You must be adaptable. You will miss things and people, and that’s OK. Part of the fun is jumping out of the plane and seeing where you land. Sometimes it’s a private party, other times it’s drinks with fellow creators discussing what the “Haunted Tank” is…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
After the CBLDF party my friends and I left and got dinner. Walking around SD’s Gas Lamp district is pretty crazy… It’s a city full of cos players, pedicabs, lots of traffic vehicular and human… and this was only Thursday! Everything is wrapped in some sort of promotion. EVERYTHING. By the end of the weekend I was overloaded with the amount of sponsorship.
From projection screens on buildings at rooftop parties, to cups emblazoned with advertisements for TV shows that will surely be cancelled, San Diego becomes one gigantic ad you can’t fast forward through.
After dinner Thursday I went back to my hotel room at the Bay Front Hilton. It was 4:30 AM my time. Toast.
Up and at ‘em!
Still reeling from jet lag, I was up at 8 and out the door by 8:30 (I deserve a medal) I set off.
Between the Bay Front and the convention center there were all the Batmobiles from the TV show and movies. It was awesome, but I totally blew by them to get into the convention! On my way in I passed the growing line for Hall H. It was no joke. It’s everything you think it is, anime characters lined up next to
One of the hot topics in the comics industry is the movement into the digital medium, and of course the biggest question in that migration is, “what’s it going to cost?” Sunday afternoon at San Diego Comic-Con, the leading voices in this debate came together to discuss this topic: Mark Waid representing Thrillbent, Scott Kurtz the creator of PvP, IDW Publishing’s ePublishing director Jeff Webber, Chris Ross attending as Top Shelf’s director of digital publications, and moderating the panel is comiXology’s Chip Mosher.Mark Waid was a little late showing up, having just won three Eisner Awards the evening before, and after introducing the panel Chip asked the panelists, “what is the ideal price for digital comics and why?”
The line of responses started with Mark Waid, and he suggested, “99 cents… because 99 cents is the point at which even the most casual readers will drop 99 cents will try something they have not tried before. 99 cents is the price you’d pay on an app from the app store… We’re not competing with other comics and we’re not competing with print comics, we’re competing with other things that cost 99 cents.”
Jeff Webber suggested that, “there’s not one price,” following up by suggesting a staggered price system based on date of release, starting from full cover price and lowering after periods of time with the inclusion of discounts; citing that IDW’s best selling digital items at the, “highest price up… except when we do a 99 cent sale.”
Scott Kurtz focused on the question, “Is this digital market the first or secondary market for this content?” His belief is that depending on the use of the digital market, should influence the price, whereas first market should be 99 cents and secondary should be free; especially in regard to marketing, “it should be zero or very little.”
Chris Ross narrowed the question to specifically what sort of comics should be priced and in which way, “Top Shelf publishes big, huge books, it doesn’t make sense to price those 99 cents.” He explained that Top Shelf’s strategy is to price their digital books to help supplement physical books and in a way that encourages readers to invest in physical copies. Mark Waid followed up with the price point concept by suggesting the question, “My motto at Thrillbent is more, ‘I want to charge 99 cents for this, then how much can I give you?’”
Chip Mosher then posed the question, “Don’t you think the 99 price point discussion is really about having people discover more comics, making them accessible, cheaper?” Chris Ross replied “I think the one thing we keep coming to as far as the 99 cents, is Angry Birds. That’s the thing that said you can get hours and hours of entertainment for only a dollar. So when you purchase a comic or you purchase a graphic novel, if it’s anything that takes you an hour or two, you feel that if you pay $4 for it you just got screwed.”
Scott Kurtz replied by saying, “It’s scary to spend 5 bucks to ‘rent’ a comic,” and continued on how paying a full price becomes an obstacle to draw in new readers and how portals or a
[Each year we try to find a newcomer to the amazements of Comic-Con to report on their adventures; it's a nice way of seeing the very real enthusiasm for what is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. This year's con virgin is cartoonist Matthew Petz who offered to both write and sketch some of his experiences at the con, starting with not even having a badge... Here's his first report and part 2.]
by Matthew Petz
The adventure continues…
Note: My notes for the next two days were increasingly less and less. Saturday and Sunday really were one HUGE day broken up by about 5 hours of sleep, but lets dive in!
Saturday as I woke up my hotel mates and I were still laughing about the previous nights game. As I write this I’m still cracking a smile. “Martian Manhunter”, giggle.
I headed out to breakfast at the Broken Yolk. That place is pretty great, but you need to get there before the line forms. We arrived JUST before it would have been a hassle. It’s worth mentioning that San Diego is basically one gigantic line that weekend. You wait for everything. Also no matter how awesome your shoes are, your feet will hurt at some point. Remember to bring your Advil!
That day at the show was intense. Just packed. Cos players were out in force. More then any other convention the cos player roadblocks just grind to a halt any movement at SDCC. Sexy Boba Fetts WILL stop you from getting anywhere. Then a few minutes later sexy Bane stops everything. After the first two or three times I found it really annoying. The con should have a HOV lane for cos players
Speaking of cos players, I get the feeling that a lot of them are looking to be models or actress’s. Maybe walking around in a sexy Batgirl costume is the modeling equivalent to getting an editor to look at your samples?
Saturday afternoon fatigue was setting in…BUT I had one more task to try and complete. I had my exclusives, and I wanted to see about getting into Hall H.
Now when I left for the Con that day the Hall H line wrapped around the nearby marina– twice. Later on I heard that people started lining up at midnight the night before. Thus is the power of The Hobbit. As I totally ditched plans to wait on line, I thought I would try and lie my way it. Horrible, I know. I heard that once you left Hall H you received a ticket for re-entry. This seemed the most logical way to break in. I approached the gigantic security guy and said I had lost my re-entry ticket, but had been there earlier…he just shrugged and said I had to get in line again. End of conversation. Failure.
Did I feel bad about trying to get in that way? A little…but thus is the mania of seeing a Godzilla trailer…which DID in fact play, and apparently was awesome. Argh.
Frankly, by this time the con was just too packed to really enjoy so I went to lunch.
I had a burger at the Fox Sports Grill. Decent grub. Decent price. They were playing Batman Begins and the Dark Knight on flats screens – at the same time –
Courtesy of Jamie Coville, here are 16 of the top panels from Comic-Con 2012. It’s almost as good as being there and if you don’t like crowds, it’s better. Many thanks to Jamie for providing this service. Jamie’s photos can be seen here.
How to Get News Coverage (53:51, 49.3mb)
Moderated by Rik Offenberger, a bunch of comic news sites writers talk about how to get coverage on their sites. One the panel was Rich Johnston, Alan Kistler, Bryan Young, Dan Manser, Holly Golightly, Chris Thompson, J.C. Vaughn, Josh Waldrop, Heidi MacDonald and Glenn Hauman. They taled about what e-mails they did and did not read, what information should be in the e-mail, things that people shouldn’t do which will ensure you get ignored, they also talked about smaller sites vs bigger sites when it comes to promoting a project.
Spotlight on Geof Darrow (100:30, 55.3mb)
Geof Darrow wins an Inkpot award and talks about how he got started in comics with Moebius, Frank Miller and the Wachowski Brothers. He showed a partly worked on Shaolin Cowboy Anime that had no audio, but gave funny commentary as it played. He talked in detail about trying to get the anime created and some road bumps he encountered along the way. Geof took the unusual step of asking the audience questions and giving them some signed prints for answering them. The audience did ask him some questions and the Geof talked about good movies the audience should see towards the end.
Bleeding Alliance of Beat Reporters (47:51, 43.8mb)
On this panel was Andy Khouri, Rich Johnston, Heidi MacDonald and Tom Spurgeon. The panel was moderated by Douglas Wolk. The group talked about making a living with their blogs, how they deal with commentators, how much they write vs editing their contributors, what type of stories get und
(Here’s the info about RDJ and the kids! There was an Iron Man contest for kids at the Marvel booth! He is now one of the coolest actors in Hollywood. Oh, and that blurb from a restroom? AMPAS, please get him to host the Oscars next year!)
Our friends over at the Mary Sue (we get together for random game nights at random Manhattan bars), have the “while you were sleeping” summary of Saturday. Ant-Man has been cast, and has been at Con?!
Every Comic-Con, IDW sells lots of copies of their oversized “Artist’s Editions”. These massive tomes reprint comics stories of well-known comic book creators, photographing the original art of seminal stories and reprinting the stories at original art size (usually 11×17 inches, or larger). Here’s a photo for scale, of Walt Simonson signing a copy of the Eisner-Award winning book!
These are beautiful volumes, reprinting the black-and-white art in color (that is, a color photograph of the black-and-white art boards), and last years’ Walter Simonson’s Thor Artist’s Edition won the Eisner award for Best Archival Collection/Project – Comic Books last Friday!
IDW also uses Comic-Con to announce their next volumes in the series, and did so Friday. (Another reason why it’s not good for comics companies to announce news during Comic-Con… it gets buried under the Hollywood hype.)
The first volume, MARK SCHULTZ’S XENOZOIC TALES: ARTIST’S EDITION, is planned for a June 2013 release. It will total some 144 pages, and will definitely showcase Schultz’ amazing artwork! Younger Beat readers might remember the brief “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs” cartoon which aired on CBS in 1993, which was based on Xenozoic Tales, and which is available for download at Amazon. To quote the PR:
Schultz creates a story that is beautifully told and exquisitely illustrated. A student of classic comic strip and comic book artists, Schultz’s influences include Al Williamson, Wally Wood and others, but, like all great artist’s, evolved into his own, unique self.
Robert Downy Jr. at the SDCC Iron Man 3 Press Conference
While this year’s San Diego Comic Con was lighter on movies and heavier on TV then it has been in recent years, the Iron Man movie franchise still managed to make the rounds on Saturday. After an obligatory appearance at the Entertainment Weekly Suite at the Hard Rock Cafe and a surprise appearance in Hall H, Marvel Studios’ President of Production, Kevin Feige, Iron Man 3 Director Shane Black and the film’s stars, Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle sat down for a press conference to talk about the upcoming film, which The Beat was lucky enough to attend.
The crowded conference questioning opened up with the rumors circulating about leaked footage of the film that features what looks like an Iron Patriot suit, causing Mr. Feige to remark that,”what’s interesting (about the internet) is how much of what the fans are guessing is so wrong.” He did, however, indicate that, Mr. Cheadle may don the suit at some point during the film.
From there most of the discussion centered around Iron Man 3’s storyline and what kind of direction Tony Stark’s character will take in the film. Mr. Feige emphasized that Marvel is “confident of the infrastructure they’re able to provide storytellers.” While Mr. Black remarked that Jon Favreau, director of the first installment of the franchise, has been available for all kinds of tips and advice on how to make an awesome Iron Man movie, thereby freeing him up to really focus on the character and story. “This is a very Tony Stark-centric film,” said Mr. Black, “Iron Man Three by design is a very serious character study.”
All the chitter chatter about character and story prompted questions about exactly what sides of Tony Stark the audience will be privvy to this go-around, with Mr. Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., commenting that Iron Man 3 has the same kind of magic The Avengers had of the “right director, the right story and the right time” with Mr. Black at the helm.
In reference to the darker, drunker sides of Mr. Stark, Downey went on to say that, “there’s a way to enjoy all that kind of a shadowy stuff” without making him totally wasted. In fact, Mr. Feige took time to confirm that, “Tony will not fall off the wagon” to which Downey replied, “you haven’t seen my re-writes” then made a quip about how we’ll see Mr. Stark heading off to The Betty Ford Center in rehab appropriate Iron Man suit.
Feige went on to say that while the story may build on future films in the Marvel franchise, “Iron Man 3 is (the same) self-contained story that’s been done since Iron Man 1,”
Although eclipsed by the showbiz extravaganza’s in the popular mind, the Masquerade may just be the most spectacular live event at Comic-COn with amazing costumes that people slave over all year. The winners of Saturday’s main event are now up, and here’s the grand prize winners, Project Runway All Star Wars
Worn By: Caitlin, Cassidy, Catherine, Chad, Connor, Cordelia, Danica, Daniel, Desiree, Laura, Nicole and Rogue. Designed and Made By: Audrey, Caitlin, Cassidy, Catherine, Chad, Connor, Cordelia, Danica, Daniel, Nicole and Rogue
Realizing that getting new stores out there is crucial to growing the comics business. Diamond has announced a couple of new programs to help get new stores up and running by softening the financial blow of assembling opening inventory. New business director Chris Powell announced these at todays Diamond retailer lunch. One program is allows stores to order two month’s worth of books and make returns before being charged. The other is a bigger deeper discount.
Details via pr:
As part of its ongoing efforts to grow the comic book specialty market, Diamond Comic Distributors today announced a new initiative with leading suppliers to encourage existing retailers to open new locations and/or relocate their current stores to larger, higher traffic locations.
BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, Diamond Select Toys, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics and Marvel Comics have all signed on to provide incentives to qualifying retailers.
“Promising retail sales for comic book stores in 2011 and 2012 have encouraged a growing number of retailers to expand into larger stores or to open new ones,” said Diamond Executive Director of Business Development Chris Powell. “Together with our leading publishers and suppliers, we’re excited to announce a program that will allow these retailers to expand with confidence and, by doing so, continue to strengthen the entire comic book industry.”
Programs initially offered to qualifying retailers vary by supplier, but will include:
•Increased discounts of up to 69% off orders of backlist products from Diamond and participating publishers and manufacturers;
•Backlist consignment programs, allowing retailers to fully stock their stores with graphic novels, trade paperbacks and other pop-culture merchandise with extended payment terms and the ability to adjust stock levels after 6 months;
•Increased discounts and/or consignment billing on a new store’s initial orders of comics for its first two months of operation, with consignment billing deferred until retailers have the opportunity to return overstocked product after keeping it on sale for a period of 6-12 weeks; and
•Store Starter Kits, offering selections of free trade paperbacks and graphic novels from participating publishers that showcase the vast breadth and depth of comic stories that retailers can use to attract any audience into their stores.
Under the new programs, Diamond will continue to provide professional advice and in-depth instruction on Diamond’s systems from Powell and a team of Diamond personnel.
Expressing views held by many in the industry, DC Entertainment SVP-Sales & Marketing Bob Wayne said: “The weekly experience that the comic book specialty market provides for our fans is extremely important to all of DC Entertainment. We’re excited about this opportunity to work with our retail partners to expand the size of the market, in cooperation with Diamond and our fellow publishers.”
According to Powell, most retailers opening new locations of existing businesses must invest a significant portion of their cash-flow to fleshing out their backlist inventory and preordering monthly comics based on projected sales.
“With this new initiative,” he said, “we will work with retailers to minimize these risks and outlays. This allows the retailer to stock the hottest graphic novels, trade paperbacks and other bestselling merchandise from day one, which lets them make a great first impression on new customers. It also gives them more flexibility in their budgets for marketing their new store so that they can continue attracting customers and generating sales.”
Okay, The Beatrix is on her way back from Sunny California, so we’re restocking the refrigerator, refilling liquor bottles, and covering the strawberry stains on the ceiling with a fresh coat of paint.
So, what’s still floating around in our data banks? All sorts of interesting stuff which seems to have been overlooked while Hollywood was in town!
There are just four cards in each pack, but they all pack a punch! First fans will receive a premium base card on thick card stock from the 50-card base set numbered to just 99 copies. Next they will receive a one-of-one sketch card from top Marvel artists. The third card is an industry first where collectors will find a dual, triple or quadruple hinged sketch card. These are really remarkable trading cards and we will be releasing images of them soon. The fourth card will be either a “Classic Corners” card, a Shadowbox card or an “Emotion” booklet card by Jason Adams and NAR!
Are those cards worth $50 each? $10,000 to collect the whole set (if you don’t get duplicates!) What would an unopened pack (one of a calculated 5000) be worth years from now? Basically, Upper Deck is offering nothing but premiums in each pack, which isn’t a bad marketing ploy. Of course, the only way to surpass this would be to offer a single card set of 5000 cards, and let someone try to acquire the entire set (or subsets). Maybe take that sixteen-square-foot “Marvel Universe” poster and cut it into cards. Or commission a newer version, perhaps done on art boards, and cut those up into smaller squares… sort of a sketch card and collector card all in one. Print the art in blue pencil, and have artists finish the artwork, signing the back of each card.
Hmmm…. I wonder what the empty wrapper will be worth?
And also at the Con: Rust, My Friend Dahmer, Creepy are in development. No. REALLY. I keep hoping for “The Cowboy Wally Show” and “Proposition Player”… both could be made for less than $20 Million, easy. Heck, shoot “Wally” on video, to make it seem even more a
However, one negative note to come out of the event’s conclusion is the rampant outbreak of an illness. Some celebrities even publicly mentioned coming down with the communicable bug, such as long-time MythBuster’s figure Kari Byron stating that she needed a break due to coming down with “the Comic Con cold.” Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Big Bang Theory fame, even amusingly dubbed the illness “ConSARS.”
While the consequences of sharing a bottle of Kristal in the Green Room have to be dealt with, we can only be glad that our nerdlebrity heroes soldiered on in the face of illness.
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SDCC only finishes once Heidi finds out where in Stately Beat Manor I’m currently hiding (under the rug? down the stairs? behind the curtain?), and throws me out once and for all. With that in mind, Chris Roberson and Allison Baker’s digital publishing company Monkeybrain Comics had a big panel at the event, which saw some new titles announced.
Amongst them were books by Joe Keatinge and Joshua Williamson, as well as an anthology title edited by Chris Schweitzer. Here’s the full list of titles announced, to go alongside the five books already released by the fledgling company:
WANDER, by Kevin Church and Grace Allison
A fantastical story about a woman from Earth who ends up in a magical, fantasy world.
MASKS AND MOBSTERS, by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson
A 1930s/40s crime story about the mob, unsurprisingly, as they find their business interrupted by the birth of the superhero.
INTERGALACTIC, by Joe Keatinge and Ken Garing
A ‘realist’ space story which explores what would’ve happened if humanity had kept pushing for space exploration. There are no aliens in the book – this is about a family who try to keep themselves alive in the depths of lawless outer space.
KONQUEROR, by Chris Schweitzer and Audrey Morris
This sounds like the book we all wanted Amethyst to be. Silly sci-fi, but with politics mixed into it. And also, according to Schweitzer, there is a character called Princess Thunderpunch, so she sounds lovely.
ROUNDUP, edited by Chris Schweitzer
The anthology title I touched on above. This will feature a number of creators like Kevin Church, Stan Lynde and Matt Kindt, all writing western-themed stories which last around 8-12 pages.
DREAMSEQUENCER: SPIRIT OF THE LAW, by Brandon Seifert and Michael Montena
This is also an anthology of sorts, but really just a chance for Seifert and Montena to do stories about whatever they want, with no real theme interlinking them. Just whatever takes their interest.
AWESOME ADVENTURES, by Chris Roberson and Thomas N. Perkins IV
A family of explorers go out and have weird adventures – a little like the Fantastic Four, perhaps, just by means of simple comparison.
Looking for a theme at Comicon isn’t always the most sensible thing to do. It’s a big show and there’s a lot going on. I am, however, seeing some momentum being gathered — in force — from a trend that seemed to spin out of the Image convention this past spring. It’s a little bit more than a movement back towards creator ownership, though that’s certainly part of it. It’s about the era of exclusive contracts dying and an age of , for lack of a better term, playing the field coming back.
The last 10-15 years was an age of exclusive contracts. Historically, it was a little unusual for someone to work at DC and Marvel simultaneously. It would happen every once in a while, but it was unusual. There was a need for exclusive contracts. This was also more of a writer thing than an artist thing. There aren’t too many artists that can handle two comics per month anymore. Writers can do three or four books a month (depending on how many changes are getting handed down from the editorial planning meetings).
The exclusive contracts war heated up a bit more when Crossgen starting hiring people and moving them down to Florida. One of the things Crossgen did was enter healthcare benefits into the exclusive contract equation. This was a huge deal, particularly for freelancers with families and at certain times, it felt like there were more people on exclusive contracts at DC and Marvel, than not.
Frequently, there would a 1-book “out” in the exclusive contracts, as it was more about keeping DC talent away from Marvel and Marvel away from DC. So Greg Rucka could still do Queen & Country and Brian Bendis could still do Powers. Eventually, Marvel added the Icon line to sweeten the deal for their exclusive contract creators and keep them closer to the vest.
That all seems to be changing and we’re seeing a wave of creators playing the field with multiple companies.
Take the example of Mark Waid. What’s Waid up to? Daredevil at Marvel. Shadow Walk at Legendary. Steed & Mrs. Peel at Boom!. Insufferable at his own Thrillbent digital label. Apparently, there’s plenty of Waid to go around.
What have Image got to offer us? Y’know, on top of EVERYTHING ELSE they’ve been offering us this year? Here’s a look at the books announced tonight at their SDCC panel. I’ll throw some pictures at the bottom, but let’s just try and get a hang on just what’s being announced! They are announcing TONNES OF COMICS. I’ll re-update this with new pictures and info as soon as possible, folks.
So far we have:
Non-Humans - Whilce Portacio and Glen Brunswick
Nowhere Men – Eric Stephenson
Satellite Sam - Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin.
A murder mystery set in the world of children’s television.
Pretty Deadly - KellySue DeConnick and Emma Rios
A spaghetti western in classic style
Multiple Warheads – Brandon Graham
Saviour - James Robinson and J. Bone
About an alien invasion of earth by shapeshifters, and a stoner’s attempts to stop them
There’s a new teaser poster for Man of Steel making the rounds at Comicon:
It’s probably not really going to be *quite* as dark as when it’s being lit like that. Still, that’s a darker costume than we’re used to seeing and a lot of texture. Somewhere between a vinyl and a plastic look perhaps?
The obvious next question is “what’s Zod wearing?”
OK, so it’s supposed to be the Iron Man 3 panel. And it is, but they started out by confirming a few things for the second phase of the MCU. MCU? Marvel Cinematic Universe. What is there to be confirmed? Here’s a handy list:
Thor: The Dark World; directed by Alan Taylor (of Game of Thrones); Nov. 8 2013
Captain America: The Winter Soldier; April 4, 2014; Directed by the Russo brothers
Guardians of the Galaxy is confirmed: Drax, Groot, Starlord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon; August 1, 2014
Edgar Wright is confirmed for Ant-Man; he’s thinking about basing the script on an issue of Marvel Premiere
Ben Kingsley is The Mandarin in Iron Man 3
That’s a lot of rumors confirmed. Creators rights buffs, take note: Drax and Gamora are two more Jim Starlin creations. Drax goes back to the first appearance of Thanos in Iron Man, so this isn’t exactly going to be pouring water on the fire, if you get where I’m going.
No clue what Thor’s “Dark World” is going to be, but if the Winter Soldier is our old friend Buck Barnes, that is a really quick leap from the comics page to the big screen.
Depending on where Ant-Man gets scheduled, we’re probably looking at Avengers 2 following Guardians of the Galaxy. I suppose that would make it entirely possible for Thanos to appear in Guardians and bridge over into Avengers 2. I expect we’ll be hearing a few rumors about that until there’s a confirmation or denial.
That’s the upcoming Marvel slate. They’re going a little further out on a limb with Groot, er, Guardians of the Galaxy. Ant-Man may not have a tone of visibility, but the character’s been in the comics with some regularity for 50 years, even if he wasn’t headlining his own book very often. The Guardians have popped up much more sporadically over the years. That will be a bigger test of how Marvel’s film unit has branded itself with the movie-going population.
Let’s leave with Marvel’s concept art for the Guardians film:
We always knew Shaq liked comics and it predated his turn as Steel on the big screen. Looks like he’s going to publish them. Come to find out, Shaq has two comics lined up for the “Shaq Comic Book Company.” This venture is a partnership between Shaq Entertainment and New Kingdom Entertainment. New Kingdom operates The Fanboy’s Guide website.
If you click the gallery button on the New Kingdom site, you’ll see some sample pages for a couple comics: “Killer of Men” and “Shoot It,” so apparently they have a small press wing.
Shaq’s comics will be “Hoop Fighters” and “Clean Ops.”
There’s a trailer for them on YouTube.
Details are a little sketchy right now, but it looks like another celebrity has joined the fray.
GAAH! I can’t stand browsing through the Google News feeds anymore! Too many celebrities! Too many shows and movies no one will care about in five years! I’m sick of looking for ponies in piles of muck!
So, I’m gonna go see what AP has on their site. Yes, I know a lot of what they post are the celebrity photos, from panels and parties. Got a foot fetish? AP has pictures of the shoes worn to the Twilight panel in Hall H! (I’ve alerted the Pulitzer committee.)
But… they also have stringers. There’s lots of “atmosphere” shots of crowds and cosplayers and everything else. It’s like having someone take photos for you, while you wander the aisles looking for cool stuff. (Last seven days = 2,374 photos) argh… too much work. and there’s the watermarks, and fair use, so back to Google…
So, here are some pretty pictures. Enjoy.
I'm not exactly sure what Anne Curry is dressed up for, but I'm sure she'll have lots of adherents!
Doesn't this fall under the "giant sword" rule? (LA Times)
As you might have guessed, there wasn’t a lot of new news at the Avengers Vs. X-Men panel. Nobody wants to spoil the ending. There’s definitely an epilogue in the form of the Consequences mini-series, which will also point the way to what comes next. (The next Event? Marvel Now relaunches? I’m not sure what they meant by that.)
In fact, the only thing I took as news was that the Consequences mini-series will be structured a bit like the Schism mini-series for X-Men and have a different artist each issue.
What actually happened at the panel? Let me pull some tangential quotes from Marvel’s own liveblogging to show what was being discussed.
The Phoenix Five (with a new member, not Namor) will be joining Alliance this fall, with their own take on the story.
So AVX will be entering the world of Marvel’s Facebook game (a really entertaining facebook game, as it happens).
New line of Avengers VS X-Men hats coming this fall!
Highly anticipated haberdashery, surely.
Moving on to the topic of Marvel Now:
“Get a great writer, put them with a great artist, and have them tell a story that will be appealing to old fans and bring in new fans.” – Axel
“THIS IS NOT A REBOOT. This all takes place within the Marvel Universe. We do not open a portal, or go back in time. This is all in the Universe post AvX.” – Axel
I think we’re going to hear very nearly those exact phrases many times between now and the actual relaunch.
“Friends go into a comic shop and want to buy a book, but it is just so daunting. Now you can tell your friends to download the AR app, point their phone at a comic, and they get a recap.” – Joe
The recap page will still be there for those who don’t have the app or a smart phone.” – Arune
Honest question: has anyone seen someone do that in a comic shop lately? It seems like it takes a lot more effort to pull out your phone, open the app and point the phone at the comic than it does to just pick it up and open the cover. If everything’s bagged, maybe. If they find the continuity or choices daunting, I’m not clear how putting the recap page that’s already there onto a phone is going to change anything.
I just tried holding my phone over Thor and Captain America, with no results, so maybe this isn’t fully implemented yet.
They did seem to be pushing the digital download codes quite a bit, too. The free downloads and AR seem to be frequently used as justifications for the $3.99 price point.
Other than that, same old, same old.
I think we’ll get some new announcements tomorrow at the Spider-Man Panel
For those who don’t know, the Bleeding Alliance of Beat Reporters is four of the biggest names in comic book journalism in one panel held during Thursday evening of San Diego Comic-Con and moderated by another big name in comics journalism, Douglas Wolk. Andy Khouri of Comics Alliance, Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool, Heidi MacDonald of The Beat, and Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter filed into the panel for an evening of talking about their publications and beliefs about other side of the comics industry most people don’t consider often: reporting about it.
Most of the time, if you look behind the curtain, you might hear about those individuals pecking at each other over various stories and events, but the level of professionalism shown among those panelists was something to be admired. Their job that evening was to inform us about comics journalism and the what life becomes when you follow that profession.
There was a great discussion about readership and how each publication handles their own followers. It clearly reflected each of their aims toward journalism and writing in general. In the end while all the panelists agreed that journalists write for themselves and writing news for the sake of numbers was a secondary priority there is a fine line where good quality reporting does become news or ratings worthy.
When asked about how each of them would make a living on journalism alone, it was mentioned that there has to be a sort of diversifaction in writing professions to be able to stay afloat. The fact that they emphasized being able to maintain a varied skill set was interesting because that seems to be a common topic in the comics industry when acquiring work.
It’s not over quite yet! Even while Torsten attempts to shoo the remaining sheep out of Stately Beat Manor’s library and Todd tries to piece together one of Heidi’s vases, SDCC 2012 still has a few small bits and pieces left for us all. Marvel’s Spider-Man panel have been announcing a few changes in the company’s third-biggest franchise (assuming that X-Men are first, Avengers are second, and Doop fourth) today, including the cover for this year’s issue #700, and details on the ‘Minimum Carnage’ crossover story.
Yes, Minimum Carnage, following the previous two Zeb Wells-helmed stories featuring the red-fury symbiote villain. Starting with ‘Minimum Carnage Alpha’ and, absolutely, concluding with the Steve-predicted ‘Minimum Carnage Omega’, the series is this time a crossover story. Chris Yost’s Scarlet Spider and Cullen Bunn’s Venom are the two books involved, as the pair of antiheroes team up (after probably fighting each other a bit, as per tradition) to try and stop Cletus Kassady from, y’know, doing a load of murders. Lan Medina will draw the opening issue, before Khoi Pham tackles the Scarlet Spider side of the story and Declan Shalvey draws Venom.
Avenging Spider-Man #13 will be by Kevin Shinick and Aaron Kuder, and features Hypno Hustler and Deadpool. This may well be part of a tie-in to the weird web series Marvel announced earlier in the con, called ‘All-Winners Squad’. This series – live action – features Squirrel Girl, The Unicorn, Hypno Hustler and Doop as they… do something… and Morgan Spurlock is involved. It’s bizarre, nobody quite knows what’s going on. You can read a little bit about it on CBR, who seem equally confused about what Marvel are trying. OR! The issue is unconnected to the webseries entirely, and I just wasted ten seconds of your time.
Issue 700 of Amazing Spider-Man will look like this:
In other news, Punisher: War Zone was revealed to be a five-issue miniseries which wraps up Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto’s current run with the character. To confirm: Punisher is cancelled in September, with this miniseries starting in October.
In it, the Avengers finally decide that it’s time to do something about the ol’ mass murdering vigilante, and things get messy
It’s windup day here. All the glittering art displays and carnivals are being taken down; everyone has gone home but the poor cast of Fringe, who were left behind to cover the retreat. And the comicos are also joining the caravan to the north and east.
We’ll have a lot more to say in the days to come but today is a crucial day for the future of comics at Comic-Con. Most everyone we talked to among the comics publishers and artists told us this has been a slow show for sales. People who were sold out by Saturday at HeroesCon are sitting on stacks of books. We don’t doubt that some people are doing well, but whereas in past years SDCC was definitely the biggest sales show of the year—justifying the enormous costs of attending—if booth sales slow, the exodus of comics talent may continue.
As we just reported, Bill Willingham has announced he won’t be back in 2013. At Tr!ckster last night, Mike Mignola told me this is the last time he’ll be setting up a booth here. To which Matt Wagner, standing nearby, said, “I did that three years ago and it was a great decision.” Another well known artist also mentioned he was giving up his booth for next year. Of course Wagner was still at the show, and Mignola said he would come for a few days to see friends and do business perhaps, but it is beginning to feel like an exodus.
Speaking of Tr!ckster, it was jammed last night. It’s been SRO every night. The vibe was something like a nightclub as dubstep blared out and people came in whirled through and dashed out, making the comics scene. Apparently sales were brisker there for comics than on the floor.
The Hyatt was a riot as usual, although security guards weren’t always allowing drinks outside as they did in past years. There seemed to be a general air of fearfulness from hotel staff that a full on donnybrook would break out at any minute. In reality,. people seemed more set on enjoying one last night of name-dropping and talking about future projects in development.
Still lots of good times here and lots of comics. Just different, as always.