The GeeksverseNEWS Round-up | Week of June 15, 2013

NEWS Round-up | Week of June 15, 2013
Published on Saturday, June 15, 2013 by
Is it just us or are the publisher solicitations being announced progressively earlier with each month? Whatever the case may be, we’ve got links to the September 2013 solicitations and more in this week’s News Round-up.

Chris Huntington on race, fatherhood, and superheroes

With Father’s Day coming up tomorrow, we want to take this opportunity to share this New York Times article by novelist Chris Huntington where he writes about how the introduction of Miles Morales, the mixed-heritage version of Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics line, has made it easier for him to share his love of comics and superheroes with his son. Here’s an excerpt (but you really, really should read the whole thing):

ultimate_spidey_miles_moralesI often forget our son is adopted. He’s not the same color as his mother or me, which doesn’t matter so much to us, but around the time he turned 5, he started talking about it. He pointed out that he was darker than me and darker than Barack Obama. He’s the darkest person in his kindergarten class.

Why couldn’t the superheroes in my comics look like my son? There was only ‘The Black Panther’ (not nearly as militant as his namesake, he wore a costume that did not show any brown skin) and Luke Cage, a Marvel blaxploitation character who wore a silk shirt open to his navel and told no one his real name because he had escaped from prison.

And then, in 2010, Marvel Comics presented a Spider-Man (the ‘Ultimate’ version) who was 13 years old and brown. To see Spider-Man pulling his mask over a tiny brown chin – to see a boy with short curly hair sticking to the ceiling of his bedroom— well, something happened. Dagim has been Spider-Man for two Halloweens in a row. He takes a bath with his Spider-Man and a toy killer whale. He has Spider-Man toothpaste and a Spider-Man toothbrush. If Spider-Man offered medical coverage, I think he would want that, too.

My son somehow understands that there is a Peter Parker Spider-Man, who is vaguely grown-up and my age, and a younger Spider-Man, closer to his age. That’s just how Dagim likes it. He even understands that Peter Parker — like Superman, like Batman – wasn’t raised by his birth parents. The best superheroes were all adopted like him.

I thought for a while that my son would never be interested in my comics. I was afraid they would just represent another club he couldn’t join: all those big-jawed white guys with their hair parted to the side. But thanks to Spider-Man, my son imagines himself jumping on giant robots and saving the city. I hear him doing that behind the door of his room.

September 2013 solicitations

What time is it? SOLICITATION TIME! Below are the compiled links to the September 2013 solicitations as announced by BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse, DC, IDW, Image, and Marvel.

BOOM! Studios (click here to read the full and detailed list of solicited titles)

There are two new title launches in September from the Los Angeles-based publishing outfit—including a licensed comic based on FX’s popular Sons of Anarchy television series—but perhaps the bigger takeaway from looking at BOOM!’s line-up for the month is that its core of ongoing creator-owned titles crafted by industry veterans is holding steady and the company isn’t making the mistake of expanding its publishing portfolio too fast, too soon, as it seemed to be at the risk of doing at times earlier in its history.

Dark Horse (View and read the complete Dark Horse September 2013 Solicitation list here)

September 2013 sees the usual assortment of comic book goodness from Dark Horse, an eclectic mix of creator-owned comics, books from the Hellboy family of titles, Star Wars stuff, the latest Buffyverse comics, Conan stuff, a strong selection of manga imports, as well as offerings featuring the publisher’s growing stable of original properties.

A couple of notable titles:

BUZZKILL #1 of 4

Buzzkill1Toadies drummer Mike Reznicek co-writes this offbeat superhero comic that subverts the Popeye dynamic—according to the solicitation copy, “Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he’s an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing MASSIVE amounts of alcohol.”

Sounds like a typical Saturday night at Comixverse Central.

THE COLOSSAL CONAN HC

ConanColossalHCDark Horse isn’t kidding when it calls this book “colossal.” The hardcover clocks in at 1,264 pages and collects issues #0–50 of the publisher’s original Conan series. We tried looking up the weight information for the book on Amazon, but it isn’t available yet, although we’re guessing it might be in the 7–10 lbs. range, at least. You could probably kill somebody with it if you swing it hard enough.

DC (View and read the complete DC September 2013 Solicitation list here)

DC is basically saying “I want all the moneys” with their “Forever Evil” event, putting out four decimal point numbered issues with “3-D motion covers” for each of the major New 52 titles. That’s a lot of scratch to lay out if you’re a loyal reader of even just one title, seeing as how your bill will jump from $3.99 to $15.96 for just one series. Good luck with that. We know from experience that it is possible to live on Cup Noodles for extended periods of time.

The Vertigo line-up looks solid, though.

IDW (View and read the complete IDW September 2013 Solicitation list here)

We just might die of a kawaii overdose with IDW’s September covers. Even our hardened hearts, toughened by numerous D&D campaigns and botched FPS fiascoes aren’t immune to the following images:

We’re also digging Mat Santolouco’s take on the Ninja Turtle design with his cover for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #26:

TMNT26_cvrA

Image (View and read the complete Image September 2013 Solicitation list here)

It’s probably not too daring a prediction for us to say that Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals will probably be the next Image title to benefit from a preorder/re-order bump due to an Apple/comiXology ban the same way Vaughan and Staples’ Saga and Joe Casey’s Sex did.

sexcriminals1_cover

Image is absolutely killing it right now with as diverse a line-up of genres and creator-owned titles in play as we’ve seen from a publisher in a long time.

Marvel (View and read the complete Marvel September 2013 Solicitation list here)

It boggles the mind how many Avengers-branded titles there are now. It’s ridiculous, really, but that’s the superhero movie money changing the game, we guess.

We think Marvel’s cross-promotion of the upcoming LEGO Marvel Superheroes game using LEGO versions of iconic covers is fun, though:

marvellegocovers

Somewhat tangentially relevant to the covers: A recent study to be presented later this year at a robotics conference in Japan notes that “LEGO faces are getting angrier.”

Gary Friedrich, Marvel, likely headed back to court over Ghost Rider

Spotlight_5_splash

Splash page from Ghost Rider’s first published appearance in Marvel Spotlight #5 (Aug. 1972)

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has just overturned the ruling rendered last year on Gary Friedrich Enterprises, LLC v. Marvel Characters, Inc., based on the Court’s finding that the language of the contracts Friedrich signed in the 1970s granting Marvel ownership of the Ghost Rider character were “ungrammatical” and “awkwardly phrased,” calling into question their validity and changing the legal complexion of the whole affair in the process.  And yes, that means we’re probably looking at the litigants going back to court over their dispute regarding the ownership of the character Ghost Rider. If you’ve forgotten what this was all about, or were never up on the details of the case in the first place, you’re in luck because we’ve got a fairly comprehensive summary (with links to the most relevant court documents) at the following link:

And if you’re done reading that, click on the following link to read our thoughts on the latest development, and what it could mean for Marvel and freelancers who worked for the publisher in the 1970s:

If nothing else, this will probably delay the production of a Ghost Rider “three-quel” starring Nicholas Cage, in which case we would like to offer Judge Denny Chin of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals our sincerest thanks. We don’t know if we can handle any more of this:

What_the_hell_is_this

A trio of sneak peeks

From Oni Press:

THE SIXTH GUN #32

6GUN #32 4x6 COMP FNL WEB 6GUN_32PG6 6GUN_32PG7 6GUN_32PG8

    • Writer: Cullen Bunn
    • Artist: Brian Hurtt
    • Colorist: Bill Crabtree
    • Price: $3.99
    • Release Date: June 19th, 2013
    • Description: Becky travels a spiritual crossroads that reveals the true power of the Six… what has come before and what might come to pass should the weapons fall into the wrong hands. Skinwalkers, forgotten kingdoms, knights, mythical creatures, and the most fearsome band of outlaws to ever roam the west—they’re all set to collide as the strangest of The Sixth Gun adventures continues!

THE SIXTH GUN: SONS OF THE GUN #4

6GUNSOG #4 4x6 COMP WEB SOLICIT 6GUNSOG_4PG4 6GUNSOG_4PG5

    • Writers: Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt
    • Artist: Brian Churilla
    • Colorist: Bill Crabtree
    • Price: $3.99
    • Release Date: June 19th, 2013
    • Description: An untold story of the fourth horseman! Without the guidance of his beloved General, Silas “Bitter Ridge” Hedgepeth is lost and alone. When he stumbles upon a community teetering on the brink of calamity, he finds a new calling. Can he redeem himself if he saves the town? And is he a plague doctor… a preacher… or the embodiment of Death himself?

From Dark Horse Comics:

CATALYST COMIX #1

catalystcomixpreview00 catalystcomixpreview01 catalystcomixpreview02 catalystcomixpreview03 catalystcomixpreview04

Click here for more preview images

    • Description: Masterminded by Joe Casey (Sex, The Bounce, Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker) with art from Dan McDaid (Doctor Who), Ulises Farinas (Glory), and Paul Maybury (Aqua Leung), Catalyst Comix #1 features the return of Comics’ Greatest World favorites Frank “Titan” Wells, Amazing Grace, and the Agents of Change. The nine-issue miniseries will have wraparound covers from artists Rafael Grampá, Paul Pope, and Brendan McCarthy. Catalyst Comix #1 is priced at $2.99 and is scheduled to hit shelves on 03 July 2013.

More news odds and ends

  • One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda recovering from peritonsillar abscess, comics work to be on a delayed publishing schedule to accommodate his health needs. (Anime News Network)
  • In pictures: 75 years of Superman (BBC)
  • Peter Bagge on his time studying under Harvey Kurtzman at the School of Visual Arts: “I was a big fan of Kurtzman’s, but by that point it seemed like he really wasn’t a very good teacher; he was mainly just baby-sitting. And for some reason he was teaching all the students to do single gag panel, New Yorker-type cartoons. Which he thought was the way of the future. He couldn’t have been more wrong.” (The Comics Journal)
  • Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks talk about the work behind Primates, their graphic novel on the life and works of primatologists Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas (Comic Book Resources)
  • Stan Lee on the inspiration to start writing superhero comics: “If my publisher hadn’t said ‘let’s do superhero stories’ I’d probably still be doing A Kid Called Outlaw, The Two Gun Kid or Millie the Model or whatever I was doing at the time.” (CNN)
  • Frank Cho, Evan Dorkin, Pete Bagge, and Tim Rickard discuss censorship and comedy in comics (The Beat)

In case you missed them…

Don’t forget that we post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers every week. Among the past week’s new sneak peeks, we’ve got a 37-page preview of the excellent Saga, Vol. 2 that you won’t find anywhere else (not in one place, anyway; NOTE: some images in the preview are NSFW) and a preview of Dark Horse’s Bloodhound: Brass Knuckle Psychology that includes a video trailer as well as a link to a free, digital copy of the trade’s first chapter.

We also have a review of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel courtesy of Kevin Kessler, the newest addition to the Comixverse staff.

We leave you now with the latest trailer for The Wolverine, due out on July 26 (July 24 in select European markets).

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