The GeeksverseNEWS Round-up | Week of August 10, 2013

NEWS Round-up | Week of August 10, 2013
Published on Saturday, August 10, 2013 by
Read about the latest development in the lawsuit between Marvel and Jack Kirby’s heirs, Kevin Maguire airing his feelings on being replaced as the artist on Justice League 3000, the most recent book store graphic novel sales numbers, and more after the jump.

Last Breath, The Uncanny, Cosplay in America reach funding goals; Grump needs just a little more to make it

A couple of weeks ago, we highlighted four ongoing comics-related Kickstarter campaigns here in the News Round-up: Sam Eggleston and Jason Baroody’s Last Breath, Beth Sotelo’s Grump, William Hodge’s The Uncanny, and Ejen Chuang’s Cosplay in America.

We’re happy to report that Last Breath, The Uncanny, and Cosplay in America have since reached their funding goals. Last Breath is actually closing in on its first “stretch goal,” which would allow the creators to afford a colorist and color printing. And with five days to go before its funding deadline, Grump just needs a little over $400 to meets its target. If you want to help Beth Sotelo—colorist on titles such as Aspen Comics’ Soulfire and Michael Turner’s Fathom and DC Comics’ Brightest Day—get her offbeat creator-owned comic off the ground, head to the Grump Kickstarter page and become a backer.

After the Eisners come… the Harveys!

NEW-HARVEY-LOGO-WEB-2012-2With the Harvey Awards—the Golden Globes to the Eisner Awards’ Oscars, or vice versa, if you prefer—set to be given out on the first evening of next month’s Baltimore Comic-Con (Sept. 7–8, 2013; Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD), we thought we’d recap the official list of this year’s nominees:

BEST LETTERER

  • Joe Caramagna, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
  • Chris Eliopoulos, COW BOY: A BOY AND HIS HORSE, Archaia
  • Todd Klein, FABLES, DC Comics
  • Jack Morelli, ARCHIE, Archie Comics
  • Chris Ware, BUILDING STORIES, Pantheon

BEST COLORIST

  • Laura Allred, FF , Marvel Comics
  • Matt Hollingsworth, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
  • Tito Pena, ARCHIE, Archie Comics
  • Ed Ryzowski, GUTTERS
  • Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP or PANEL

  • CUL DE SAC, Richard Thompson, Universal Press Syndicate
  • DICK TRACY, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Media Services
  • GET FUZZY, Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate
  • MUTTS, Patrick McDonnell, King Features
  • PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, Stephen Pastis, United Feature Syndicate

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK

  • BANDETTE, Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
  • BATTLEPUG, Mike Norton
  • THE DREAMER, Lora Innes
  • NIMONA, Noelle Stevenson
  • SHELDON, Dave Kellett

BEST AMERICAN EDITION of FOREIGN MATERIAL

  • ABELARD, NBM
  • BLACKSAD: A SILENT HELL, Dark Horse
  • NEW YORK MON AMOUR, Fantagraphics Books
  • SHARAZ-DE: TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, Archaia
  • NAOKI URASAWA’S 20TH CENTURY BOYS, VOL. 22, VIZ Media

BEST INKER

  • Steve Ellis, ONLY LIVING BOY, Bottled Lightning
  • Jonathan Glapion, BATMAN, DC Comics
  • Klaus Janson, CAPTAIN AMERICA, Marvel Comics
  • Mark Morales, AVENGERS VS. X-MEN, Marvel Comics
  • Bob Smith, LIFE WITH ARCHIE, Archie Comics

BEST NEW SERIES

  • ADVENTURE TIME, kaBOOM!
  • HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
  • NEW CRUSADERS: RISE OF THE HEROES, Red Circle Comics
  • REVIVAL, Image Comics
  • SAGA, Image Comics

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT

  • Jerry Gaylord, FANBOYS VS. ZOMBIES, BOOM! Studios
  • Dennis Hopeless, AVENGERS ARENA, Marvel Comics
  • Ryan Jampole, MEGA MAN, Archie Comics
  • Mark Mariano, HAPPYLOO, MyPalMark.com
  • David Nytra, THE SECRET OF THE STONE FROG, Toon Books

SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR IN COMICS

  • Chad Lambert, THE POSSUM AT LARGE 10TH ANNIVERSARY CRAPTACULAR, Old School Comics
  • Ryan North, ADVENTURE TIME, kaBOOM!
  • Dan Parent, KEVIN KELLER, Archie Comics
  • Chris Sparks, TEAM CUL DE SAC: CARTOONISTS DRAW THE LINE AT PARKINSON’S, Andrews McMeel
  • Jim Zub, SKULLKICKERS, Image Comics

BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC PUBLICATION FOR YOUNGER READERS

  • ADVENTURE TIME, kaBOOM!
  • AMELIA RULES: HER PERMANENT RECORD, Simon and Schuster
  • COW BOY: A BOY AND HIS HORSE, Archaia
  • DRAMA, Schoolastic
  • SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES, DC Comics
  • THE SHARK KING, Toon Books

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED

  • ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY, Titan Books
  • ARCHIE: THE MARRIED LIFE, BOOK 2, Archie Comics
  • CURSED PIRATE GIRL COLLECTED EDITION: VOLUME ONE, Archaia
  • HEADS OR TAILS, Fantagraphics
  • KING CITY, Image

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • DARK HORSE PRESENTS, various, Dark Horse
  • DISTRICT COMICS, Matt Dembicki, Fulcrum Publishing
  • ONCE UPON A TIME MACHINE, Andrew Carl, Dark Horse
  • TEAM CUL DE DE SAC: CARTOONISTS DRAW THE LINE AT PARKINSON’S, Chris Sparks, Andrews McMeel
  • WOMANTHOLOGY: SPACE, Mariah Huehner, IDW

BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT

  • BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS, VOL. 2, Archie Comics
  • CAME THE DAWN AND OTHER STORIES, THE EC COMICS LIBRARY, Fantagraphics
  • CRIME DOES NOT PAY ARCHIVES, Dark Horse Comics
  • DAVID MAZZUCHELLI’S DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN: ARTIST’S EDITION, IDW
  • POGO: BONA FIDE BALDERDASH VOL. 2, WALT KELLY’S POGO, Fantagraphics

BEST COVER ARTIST

  • David Aja, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
  • Steve Ellis, ONLY LIVING BOY, Bottled Lightning
  • Jenny Frison, REVIVAL, Image Comics
  • Adam Hughes, FAIREST, Vertigo Comics
  • Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL, or JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION

  • ALTER EGO MAGAZINE, TwoMorrows Publishing
  • JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR, TwoMorrows Publishing
  • TEAM CUL DE DE SAC: CARTOONISTS DRAW THE LINE AT PARKINSON’S, Andrews McMeel
  • MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY, HarperCollins
  • ROBOT 6 WEBSITE, Comic Book Resources

SPECIAL AWARD for EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION

  • BUILDING STORIES, Chris Ware, Pantheon Books
  • CURSED PIRATE GIRL COLLECTED EDITION: VOLUME ONE, Jeremy Bastian, Archaia
  • DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI’S DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN: ARTIST’S EDITION, Scott Dunbier, IDW
  • TEAM CUL DE DE SAC: CARTOONISTS DRAW THE LINE AT PARKINSON’S, Chris Sparks, Andrews McMeel
  • THE ART OF BETTY AND VERONICA, Victor Gorelick and Craig Yoe, Archie Comics

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM ORIGINAL

  • BUILDING STORIES, Pantheon
  • THE CARTER FAMILY: DON’T FORGET THIS SONG, Abrams ComicArts
  • MY FRIEND DAHMER, Abrams ComicArts
  • RICHARD STARK’S PARKER: THE SCORE, IDW
  • THE UNDERWATER WELDER, Top Shelf

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES

  • BATMAN, DC Comics
  • DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
  • HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
  • LOCKE AND KEY, IDW
  • RACHEL RISING, Abstract Studios
  • SAGA, Image Comics

BEST WRITER

  • Matt Fraction, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
  • Joe Hill, LOCKE AND KEY, IDW
  • Tim Seeley, REVIVAL, Image Comics
  • Scott Snyder, BATMAN, DC Comics
  • Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics
  • Mark Waid, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics

BEST ARTIST

  • David Aja, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
  • Greg Capullo, BATMAN, DC Comics
  • Mike Norton, REVIVAL, Image Comics
  • Chris Samnee, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
  • Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics

BEST CARTOONIST

  • Jaime Hernandez, LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES, Fantagraphics
  • Jeff Lemire, THE UNDERWATER WELDER, Top Shelf
  • Terry Moore, RACHEL RISING, Abstract Studios
  • Chris Ware, BUILDING STORIES, Pantheon
  • Adam Withers and Comfort Love, RAINBOW IN THE DARK, uniquescomic.com

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY

  • BATMAN # 12, DC Comics
  • BUILDING STORIES, Pantheon
  • HAWKEYE # 1, Marvel Comics
  • LOCKE AND KEY: GRINDHOUSE, IDW
  • THE MIRE, BeckyCloonan.net
  • SAGA # 1, Image Comics
  • TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE #8, Fantagraphics

A rather notable omission from the nominee list: Dave Stewart, who received this year’s Eisner for Best Coloring, isn’t nominated in the Best Colorist category. And while Chris Ware is represented on the Harvey ballot multiple times, he’s conspicuously missing from the Best Letterer category, where he won one of his four Eisners last month. It will be interesting to see if the biggest winners at this year’s Eisners—Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga, Chris Ware’s Building Stories, Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido’s Blacksad: A Silent Hell, and Hawkeye artist David Aja among them—will similarly dominate the categories they’ve been nominated in this time around.

Jack Kirby heirs lose appeal

cbg105detail_kirby_selfportraitEarlier this week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2011 ruling granting Marvel exclusive ownership of the characters the late Jack Kirby created while working as a freelance artist for the company from 1958 to 1963.

It remains to be seen if the counsel for Jack Kirby’s heirs will be able to create the basis for a new suit from June’s overturning of Gary Friedrich Enterprises v. Marvel Characters, Inc., wherein Judge Chin of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the work-for-hire Marvel contracts Friedrich signed in the 1970s were so ambiguously worded that it is unclear whether they actually convey ownership to Marvel of the characters Friedrich created while working under contract. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if this latest ruling marks just a temporary cessation in the long-running and contentious dispute between the Kirby estate and Marvel, however.

Don Figureoa not too happy about Hasbro’s Generations Megatron

And since we’re on the topic of comics creators (or their heirs) getting in disputes with publishers over the terms of their work-for-hire contracts, here’s a link to the Bleeding Cool story of how Transformers comics artist Don Figueroa feels he got stiffed by IDW and Hasbro over an unsolicited Megatron re-design.

Here’s the summary:

Here’s a Figueroa concept drawing of Megatron that Don Figueroa posted on his DeviantArt page a few years back:

ATB_Megatron_DeviantArt_by_DonFigueroa

This drawing was unsolicited by Hasbro (makers of the Transformers toys) or IDW (which has the license to publish Transformers comics), although it’s worth noting that Figueroa was employed as an artist on IDW’s Transformers comics at the time that he drew it. The drawing was later reworked by Figueroa to be part of a Transformers story idea that he pitched to then-IDW editor Andy Schmidt. Schmidt turned the pitch down, due to the fact that IDW already had years of stories inventoried and planned out. Fast-forward a couple of months later and Schmidt contacts Figueroa about the Megatron design, saying that they could use it after all. They agree to meet at the Long Beach Comic-Con where Figueroa would then be allowed to pitch another story to IDW. Schmidt doesn’t show up. Figueroa moves on.

In 2011, Schmidt switched employers from IDW to Hasbro. In 2013, Hasbro released the Deluxe Megatron figure as part of their Generations line of toys:

Generations_IDW_megatron

Now, without knowing the details of Figueroa’s then-contract with IDW and the terms of IDW’s licensing of the Transformers property from Hasbro, we’re pretty sure that Hasbro’s appropriation of Figueroa’s design is, without question, legal, given that (a) he was under contract with IDW at the time that he made the drawing, (b) he was illustrating licensed Transformers comics for IDW at the time, and (c) most employment contracts in the publishing and entertainment industries have language that allows employers to appropriate a creative work created by an employee when the employer has sufficient grounds to believe that it is created using employer resources (in this case, the resource could be argued to be IDW’s license to the IP of Hasbro’s Megatron). And Figueroa isn’t disputing that. But it does seem, based on his account of events, that he has grounds to feel miffed that Schmidt never followed through on the promise to listen to Figueroa’s new pitch and that Schmidt (or somebody else at IDW) presumably took a design from Figueroa’s earlier pitch—a pitch that Schmidt/IDW rejected—for use in other Transformers comics as well as handed the design over to Hasbro to be made into a toy without, as Figueroa noted, “giving any notice, acknowledgement or compensation.”

Not cool.

Kevin Maguire on being replaced on Justice League 3000 #1

Fan-favorite artist Kevin Maguire, posting on the Bleeding Cool message boards about being taken off Justice League 3000 even before the first issue has shipped (emphasis ours):

This is, as I tweeted, very humiliating. Obviously, I was looking forward to working on a fairly high profile book. I haven’t had a top ten book since the 80s and I thought this would finally be my shot at doing one. But it’s DC’s book, it’s their property, they can do whatever they want with it. They don’t owe me anything. I’ve been told they wanted a book that was “dark and gritty”, so I’m perplexed as to why they chose us for that. We did exactly the kind of book you would expect from us. Lots of action and humor. AND I turned down a Bendis X-Men project to do JL3K.

As for my doing other projects with DC, they offered me a four page story and a 10 page digital first story. They’re paychecks, so I’m grateful for that, but they’re no Justice League #1. I really don’t want to do back ups and fill-ins for my career. So, right now, I’ll do the four pager and then I think that’ll be it for me and DC for a while. I’ve received some interesting offers from other companies. Marvel generously offered me an issue of a cool book, so I’m going to do that for now, then see what happens.

Len Wein on The Wolverine

The L.A. Times‘ Hero Complex blog has an entertaining and informative interview with Len Wein, Eisner Hall of Famer and co-creator of Wolverine. Some excerpts:

On the recently released The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman in the title role:

I loved it. We’re going to go see it again this week, in fact. My wife and my family have not seen it yet, so I’m going to take them to see it this weekend. It is in very many ways not really a superhero film; I thought that makes it spectacular. It’s really a character study. There’s all the superhero action you could ask for, but at the heart of it that’s not what it’s about. It’s about exploring who and what makes Logan what he is.

On Chris Claremont’s work on developing the character of Wolverine:

I loved it. I knew he would do a good job with the [Uncanny X-Men]. He was one of my assistant editors and the day I realized I’ve got to give up most of my writing, I was editor in chief at the time and I couldn’t edit 54 books a month, plus write four books a month, so I had to give up everything but one book. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Hulk and that was one of the books I was writing. I started giving away my books to other people. Chris sat at a desk outside my office in what was then the bullpen and when I said, “Gee, I wonder who I can give X-Men to,” he started pinwheeling his hands, going, “Me, me, I’ll take it!” I thought anybody that enthusiastic deserves a shot. One of the best choices I ever made. He did a remarkable job for, God help me, 17 years, I think, straight.

On actor Hugh Jackman:

The amazing thing about Hugh is that on many levels he’s the antithesis of Wolverine. He’s one of the nicest, most gracious guys I’ve ever known. My wife absolutely adores him. She’d throw me over for him in a second. He’s just that guy. He’s sincere, he’s generous and thankful and appreciative. I think he realizes he sort of fell into the role of his life. They’re going to have to pry [the role of Wolverine]t out of his cold, dead hands one day, I think. He loves doing the character. He’s a terrific actor. I’ve always said, to my mind, the most talented person in his industry is the casting director who looked at Hugh playing Curly in “Oklahoma!” and said, “Yeah, he could be the most dangerous man on Earth.”

The latest graphic novel sales numbers from Nielsen BookScan

sailormoonv12The latest book store graphic novel sales numbers from Nielsen BookScan are in. Manga titles dominated the top of July’s sales charts, with eight of the top 20 books being titles from VIZ Media, Yen Press, Kodansha (Kodansha’s Sailor Moon, Vol. 12 was ranked no. 1 overall), and Seven Seas. Image Comics had the best showing of any single publisher in the top 20 however, with six books (Saga Vols. 1 and 2, The Walking Dead Vols. 1 and 18, and The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1) making it. The Big Two weren’t so big, with Marvel being represented by Hawkeye, Vol. 2 (ranked no. 18) and DC by Watchmen (ranked no. 19; although the fact that Watchmen still makes the top 20 over a quarter of a century after it was published is certainly impressive and speaks to the material’s longevity).

To view the full list, head on over to ICv2.

Kodansha to stop selling digital comics on its iOS app

Speaking of Kodansha, the manga publisher has revealed that it will stop selling (leasing?) digital comics through its iOS app and will be moving towards an e-book model. What will happen to the digital comics that customers have purchased via the app? Will we see a repeat of the JManga debacle that led to customers’ digital comics collections disappearing into the digital ether? According to Dallas Middaugh, director of publishing services for Kodansha Comics

It’s going to depend. Our goal is to keep the app alive forever… We don’t want the app to go away.

While it’s nice that Kodansha wants to keep the app around so that existing Kodansha customers can still read their in-app purchases, Middaugh did not provide a more reassuring response to the question of what Kodansha would do in a situation where a future iOS upgrade might render the Kodansha app obsolete or incompatible with mobile devices. Those of you who have invested a lot of money in digital comics purchased through the Kodansha app might want to start, oh, we don’t know, “researching” ways that you can still access those comics outside of the app environment before the next iOS update rolls around, just in case.

Odds and sods

More comics news from around the world of comics:

 

  • Dark Horse launches Clown Fatale, a “darkly humorous and graphically violent, vivid, stylish, cinematic tale of action and blood” by writer Victor Gischler (X-Men, Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth) and Italian artist Maurizio Rosenzweig (John Doe, Davide Golia). [Comixverse]

 

  • Off-Registration, the online comics news magazine, looks to Kickstarter to keep going as a freely available comics community web resource. [Comixverse]

 

  • Abraham Riesman does a fairly comprehensive retrospective on the career of Mark Millar, surely one of the most polarizing comics talents of the past couple of decades. [New Republic]

In case you missed them…

 

  • On the review front, we’ve got a new First Impressions article that features reviews and preview galleries of ten #1s and one-shots released over the past few weeks, including  The Rocketeer & The Spirit: Pulp Friction #1, Day Men #1, Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus #1, Batman ’66 #1, and Captain Midnight #1.

 

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