We’ve got the story on Comics Alliance being shuttered by AOL, a couple of important announcements from Dark Horse Comics, news tidbits from Fan Expo Vancouver, and more for you right here in the Quite Late Edition of the News Round-up!
Breaking: Comics Alliance shut down by AOL
As first reported by CBR’s Robot6 this morning, the popular comics news and commentary site Comics Alliance has been closed down by its parent company AOL. Comics Alliance had recently been nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Publication/Journalism, its third such honor. Founder Laura Hudson, who now writes for Wired, has gone on Twitter to say that the closure wasn’t at all performance-related and that traffic on the site was “better than ever,” leaving some to speculate publicly as to the true reason for the site’s abrupt closure. For more updates and to read reactions from the comics industry, head on over to Bleeding Cool.
News from Fan Expo Vancouver
Missed Fan Expo Vancouver? The most recent Leaving Proof has images and impressions from British Columbia’s premier pop culture celebration.
Some more news odds and ends from Fan Expo:
- We caught up with Diana Greenhalgh (Herc, X-Men: Legacy), whom we missed at last year’s Expo. For those backers of the succesfully-funded Watchguard + Teen Force 5 comic Kickstarter, we’ve personally seen Diana’s finishes over Kevin Sharpe’s pencils and they are looking sa-weet! The comics and sketch card artist reports that she’s also busy on another project, but the way these things go with the NDAs and such, she couldn’t really tell us much about it (or rather, she could tell us, but then she’d have to kill us afterwards!).
- We talked at length with ’68 artist Nat Jones about the unique storytelling potential for the future of the Vietnam War-meets-zombies comic. Writer Mark Kidwell doesn’t have any solid plans for a ’69 sequel or spin-off as far as Jones knows but Jones admits that expanding the future history of the book beyond the late 1960s and into the 1970s and beyond is an intriguing proposition.
- The Phil Jimenez vs. Stephen Sadowski sketch duel, moderated by Warlord of Mars colorist Shane Rooks, offered all sorts of insight into character design. Jimenez cited the influence of young haute couture designers on his own recent costume design work and all three artists engaged the audience in a thoughtful, free-flowing, and highly entertaining discussion of the sexual politics of comic book character design.
- Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Moon Knight) took the mantle for this year’s best sketch duel comedian from his friend Esad Ribic (Thor: God of Thunder, Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates), whose profanity-laced tirades from last year’s sketch duel against Kaare Andrews have become the stuff of Fan Expo legend. Maleev kept the sketch duel audience in stitches with stories of artistic misadventures and his life’s mission to kill off Daredevil supporting character Foggy Nelson once and for all. Steve Epting (Captain America, New Avengers) played off of Maleev perfectly as the impromptu comedy duo’s designated straight-man. Oh, and the Hellboy sketches they produced at the end of the duel were fantastic.
- In the Comics to Flicks panel, Bob Layton (Iron Man, Colony), Kaare Andrews (Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis, Spider-Man: Reign), Stephen Platt (Prophet, Soul Saga) and LucasFilm artist Robert Bailey shared anecdotes of their time navigating the worlds of print art and film-making (and not all of it was rosy stuff). Look out for a future Leaving Proof installment expounding on some of the issues raised during this talk.
- The Spotlight on Neal Adams panel (moderated by Neal’s son and Dr. Who writer Josh Adams) started off quite late, but the Eisner Hall of Famer more than made up for it with stories of having to fight for the creation and inclusion of John Stewart in Green Lantern and the genesis of 1978’s Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, a hilarious impersonation of DC editor Julius Schwartz, and all sorts of inside-baseball dishing.
Dark Horse Digital teams up with Dynamite
From the press release:
Dynamite Entertainment has inked a deal to include its comics digitally through the Dark Horse Digital store and apps. Thirty single issues and more than twenty collections are available for purchase today! New titles will be added weekly, with all upcoming Dynamite releases available digitally the same day as print.
“We’ve been looking for ways to expand our digital presence, and this is our first step to building an even more robust library of digital comics,” said Dark Horse President Mike Richardson.
“We’re proud to add Dark Horse Digital to our retail partners selling our digital titles to their audience. Our wide range of titles, from Vampirella to Battlestar Galactica, Grimm, The Shadow, Red Sonja, and many of our other Dynamite titles, are a perfect fit for the large audience who purchase Dark Horse titles. We’re thrilled to work with Mike and his team at Dark Horse Digital on this new endeavor and excited about new opportunities to come,” added Nick Barrucci, Dynamite Entertainment’s CEO and publisher.
Dark Horse to publish Star Wars comics through at least 2014
Representatives from Dark Horse Comics confirmed at the pre-C2E2 retailer summit that the company will continue to publish its line of licensed Star Wars comics through at least 2014. Walt Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm last year prompted speculation that the publication of Star Wars comics would be quickly shifted to Disney-owned Marvel Comics.
Bryan Singer confirms X-Men roster additions for X-Men: Days of Future Past
Posting on Twitter, producer Bryan Singer has confirmed the rumored addition of the characters Blink, Bishop, and Warpath to the X-Men roster for next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, joining characters who have previously appeared in the film franchise such as Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Storm, and Iceman. This comes on the heels of actor Adan Canto’s tweet seemingly suggesting that he will play Sunspot in the film.
The Outhousers’ Christian Hoffer on being on DC’s blacklist
Outhousers editor-in-chief Christian Hoffer writes candidly about being on DC Comics’ media blacklist in this post here. Not really groundbreaking or particularly illuminative news per se, but in light of the recent flap between DC and Comic Book Resources, it does paint a rather unflattering picture of the way DC handles its relationship with the comics press.
Spider-Man 2099 to have major role in Superior Spider-Man
IGN reports that Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099, is set to make an appearance in Superior Spider-Man #17, and that the character is poised to play an important role in a storyline that writer Dan Slott has been planning out since 2010. We don’t really have much to add to this story, but here’s a picture of the affable Joe St. Pierre, having fun at Fan Expo Vancouver: