The GeeksverseNEWS Round-up | Week of September 7, 2013

NEWS Round-up | Week of September 7, 2013
Published on Saturday, September 7, 2013 by
What did DC do to piss people off this week? Read all about it and more after the jump! [UPDATED: The complete list of 2013 Harvey Awards winners added.] 

Dark Horse announces Furious by Glass and Santos

Throughout the past week, Dark Horse has been sending out teaser images in the build-up to a new title announcement set for this weekend’s Baltimore Comic-Con that had us more than a little intrigued. A new spin-off of Oeming’s The Victories, perhaps? Maybe an updated version of a Comics’ Greatest World character? Well, the wraps are off, and Dark Horse’s latest title stands revealed:

darkhorse_is_furious

From the press release:

Writer Bryan J. L. Glass (Mighty Marvel: Women of Marvel, Thor: First Thunder) and artist Victor Santos (Ghosts, Polar: Came from the Cold, Filthy Rich), two-thirds of the Harvey Award–winning Mice Templar team, will join forces once again for a creator-owned superhero series: Furious!

Furious is a five-issue miniseries where celebrity, fame, and superheroes meet.

“Furious, the character, is driven by the same outrage and anger we all feel toward injustice, but as a superheroine she realizes she actually has the power to do something about it,” says writer Bryan J. L. Glass. “But no matter how noble the intention, there’s always a price to pay for reckless action.”

Staring into a fractured mirror of her life, the world’s first superhero, Furious, seeks to atone for her past sins by doling out rage-fueled justice! But the spotlight of our celebrity-obsessed media threatens to undo her noblest efforts and expose her true identity before she can achieve redemption.

“Furious, the series, is driven by those consequences: An adrenaline-fueled crash into the darkest depths of one woman’s shattered world and what she chooses to do about it!” added Glass.

J.H. Williams III, W.H. Blackman quit Batwoman over conflicts with editors

This week, Batwoman writers J.H. Williams III and W.H. Blackman joined writer Paul Jenkins and artist Kevin Maguire among a growing list of high-profile creators to leave DC over issues of editorial interference. As Williams detailed on his blog, drastic, last-minute, editor-mandated changes to stories planned and plotted over a course of a year or more left the writing team “frustrated and angry”:

DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.

We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry—because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26.

Batwoman #24 will be Williams and Blackman's final published issue in the series.

Batwoman #24 will be Williams and Blackman’s final published issue in the series.

With Batwoman being one of the more popular “New 52″ titles, the reaction from fans and comics professionals alike has been, as expected, quite vocal. DC Comics, which faced criticism for the hiring of Ender’s Game author and noted anti-gay rights activist Orson Scott Card to write Adventures of Superman (Card has since been replaced on the comic), is now looking at insinuations by some observers of a systemic anti-gay editorial bias as one of the main storylines torpedoed by Batwoman editors was the character’s planned marriage to her long-time same-sex partner.

We should point out, however, that Williams himself was quick to clarify in a Twitter conversation with Batgirl writer Gail Simone that the controversial decision wasn’t so much prompted by an “anti-gay marriage” mandate as it was by a general “anti-marriage” editorial stance, somewhat reminiscent of Marvel’s Joe Quesada going to great lengths to undo Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson several years back with the much-maligned Spider-Man: One More Day. DC would later release a statement confirming that the editorial decision to do away with the marriage storyline and other disagreements between the writers and the editors had “nothing to do with the sexual orientation of [Batwoman].”

UPDATE: DC executive Dan Didio announced this morning at the Baltimore Comic-Con that openly-gay writer Marc Andreyko will replace Williams and Blackman on Batwoman with issue #25. The more cynical fans will probably dismiss this as a knee-jerk public relations move intended to quell talk of DC’s track record with the handling of LGBT issues brought on by Williams and Blackman’s departure, especially considering the fact that Williams had previously stated on his blog that Batwoman #26 has been completed.

Mark Waid, comics shop proprietor

The new ownership group of Alter Ego Comics (Muncie, IN), from left to right: Jason Pierce, Christy Blanch, Mark Waid.

The new ownership group of Alter Ego Comics (Muncie, IN), from left to right: Jason Pierce, Christy Blanch, Mark Waid.

Newsarama is reporting that Eisner and Harvey Award-winning writer and Thrillbent digital comics platform co-founder Mark Waid has acquired an ownership stake in the Muncie, IN branch of the Alter Ego Comics brick-and-mortar comics shop franchise. He is now an equal owner of the shop along with life partner and Gender Through Comic Books course instructor Christy Blanch and former sole proprietor Jason Pierce. Some might find it odd or even contradictory that Waid would go into the print comic-selling business, but Waid has never been “anti-print” no matter how many blogs and poorly-researched articles have tried to paint him as such. Rather, what Waid—long a proponent of the unique opportunities offered by the digitization of media and author of the first ever Marvel Infinite Comic—has always maintained is that strategies that work in print do not necessarily translate into the digital ecosystem.

In many ways, Waid dabbling directly in digital and print comics distribution is a practical reflection of the observation that e-books and other digitized reading material may not exactly be perfect substitutes for physical books. As author Nicholas Carr notes in this recent Nautilus article, print and digital books are not so much analogous as they are complementary: printed reading material interacts with spatial memory in a way that digital reading material doesn’t and material read through physical print might be more firmly encoded in memory than material read on digital media, which may help explain in part the subjective feeling certain readers have that “real comics” are better than comics read online on a PC or on tablets and smartphones.

The Muncie branch of Alter Ego Comics (111 E. Adams Street, Muncie, IN 47305) will have a grand reopening event on September 21 and will feature signings by Waid, Eisner-winning artists Mike Norton (Battlepug, Young Avengers) and Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans, Itty Bitty Helboy), food, raffles, and photo ops with replicas of the Batmobile from the 1966 Batman TV show and the Back to the Future DeLorean.

Marvel and DC graphic novels with a poor August showing in book stores

naruto_v62ICv2 is reporting that Marvel and DC trade paperbacks and hardcovers had another rough month in American book stores: No Marvel titles cracked the Nielsen BookScan Top 20 for August and all four DC and DC/Vertigo titles that did make it into the list are titles that are at least two decades old, three of which are written by Alan Moore (who has sworn many times over the past several years to never work with DC or any of its affiliates ever again). The big winners, as has been the usual these past few months, are the North American manga publishers—VIZ Media (whose Naruto, Vol. 62 topped the charts), Yen Press, Kodansha, and Seven Seas—and Image Comics’ Saga and The Walking Dead.

Marvel is banking on October’s Avengers: Endless Wartime by Warren Ellis, Mike McKone, and Jason Kieth to help revive its long-flagging fortunes in the graphic novel market, but it remains to be seen if the combination of Ellis’ name and the Avengers brand will be enough to give the publisher’s bound volumes renewed sales momentum in the face of stiff competition. For the full Top 20 list of best-selling graphic novels in book stores, visit ICv2.

Katee Sackhoff to play lead in Captain Marvel movie?

Various comics and film news outlets are reporting that Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica fame is in talks to play the lead role in a planned Captain Marvel film. Making quite the leap in logic, io9’s Rob Bricken is linking Thor and The Avengers executive producer Louis D’Esposito’s statements saying that Marvel Studios is looking to create a new superhero film with a female lead with Sackhoff’s hints that she might be working with Marvel Studios on a new film, arriving at the hypothesis that Sackhoff will be playing Carol Danvers in a future Captain Marvel film. Pay attention kids, this is how internet rumors start.

Still, shaky rumor foundations aside, we find ourselves thinking that Sackhoff would actually make for a good Captain Marvel, regardless of whether or not the rumors have any merit to them.

sackhoff_capmarvel_maybe

Batfleck concept art leaked?

An illustration of what looks to be Ben Affleck in a Batman costume briefly surfaced on Steve Scott’s deviantART page a few days back before being taken down for no discernible reason.

possible_batfleck_design

Now, some guy with a deviantART account drawing an actor’s likeness wearing a superhero costume wouldn’t normally be worth reporting but Scott is a comics industry veteran with a credits list as long as your arm who has also worked in the art departments of numerous films. TV series, and video games including—quite notably—2008’s The Dark Knight. Was this an early, officially-commissioned concept design inadvertently leaked by the illustrator or just a case of an artist playing around with the idea of Mr. Jennifer Garner dressed up as Gotham City’s caped crusader? Also, is anybody else getting an Owlman vibe from the cowl design?

Steve Rude to be featured at the 8th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibition

milkstraightup_by_dude

Pages from DC’s Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill one-shot as well as the painting Milk, Straight-Up (seen above) by Nexus co-creator Steve “The Dude” Rude will be shown at the 8th Annual International Guild of Realism Juried Exhibition, which will take place from October 4 to November 30th, 2013 at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, AZ.

Help make the Scary Godmother doll a reality

Sandman artist Jill Thompson is looking to create a high-quality, highly-articulated fashion doll based on the protagonist of her Scary Godmother books and comics. The thing is, getting tooling made for such a project is very expensive. That’s where you and Kickstarter can come in:

The Kickstarter campaign for the Scary Godmother doll runs until Thursday, Sept.12, 4:31 PM Eastern time. Go to the project page to learn more and become a backer.

UPDATE (23:57, 2013/09/07): The 2013 Harvey Awards winners

Fresh from the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, here are your winners for the 2013 Harvey Awards (winners highlighted in bold):

BEST LETTERER

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

BEST COLORIST

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

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP or PANEL

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

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK

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

BEST AMERICAN EDITION of FOREIGN MATERIAL

  • BLACKSAD: A SILENT HELL, Dark Horse
  • ABELARD, NBM
  • 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

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

BEST NEW SERIES

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

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT

  • Dennis Hopeless, AVENGERS ARENA, Marvel Comics
  • Jerry Gaylord, FANBOYS VS. ZOMBIES, BOOM! Studios
  • 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

  • Ryan North, ADVENTURE TIME, kaBOOM!
  • Chad Lambert, THE POSSUM AT LARGE 10TH ANNIVERSARY CRAPTACULAR, Old School Comics
  • 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

  • DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI’S DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN: ARTIST’S EDITION, IDW
  • 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
  • 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

  • ROBOT 6 WEBSITE, Comic Book Resources
  • 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

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

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

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES

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

BEST WRITER

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

BEST ARTIST

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

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

HERO INITIATIVE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

  • Sal Buscema

HERO INITIATIVE DICK GIORDANO HUMANITARIAN AWARD

  • Paul Levitz

How about that Saga, huh? Also worth noting: David Aja, Blacksad: A Silent Hell, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, Adventure Time, Dark Horse PresentsDavid Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, and Building Stories winning in many of the same (or at least similar) categories they won in July’s Eisner Awards.

Odds and sods

More news from around the world of comics:

  • BOOM_Box_Teaser_ImageBOOM! Studios teases new BOOM! Box imprint (Comixverse)
  • Eisner Award-winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang (American-Born Chinese, Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Promise) on Boxers and Saints, his upcoming graphic novel about the Boxer Rebellion. (Graphic Novel Reporter)
  • Writers and co-creators J. Michalski and Alexander Lagos talk about working on Zoë: Out of Time in an exclusive interview. (Comixverse)
  • See pictures of the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC), one of the largest “geek culture” conventions in Southeast Asia. (CBS News)
  • Devil’s Due Entertainment will collect Dirk Manning’s Tales of Mr. Rhee horror webcomic into a single volume for print and digital sales, product expected to ship in the winter. (Comixverse)
  • Apple faces new e-book restrictions in the wake of the investigation into an e-book price-fixing scandal the company allegedly engineered, news that is especially salient given how more and more digital comics are being sold as e-books and the fact that one of the book publishers implicated in the case, Hachette, is also a major player in the European graphic novel market. (BBC )
  • Fantagraphics to publish the “Don Rosa Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge” Collections. (Comics Alliance)
  • UC Irvine to offer a free, non-credit online course on The Walking Dead TV show called Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead. And they say a university education just isn’t worth the cost anymore. (Canvas.net)
  • Writer Glen Brunswick talks about Reality Check, a new series from Image Comics that is as much about the struggles of writing superhero comics as it is about superheroes. (USA Today)
  • Oliver Sava’s thoughtful essay examining the issues surrounding DC’s “Villains Month” event and all the other problems the publisher has had to deal with regarding its image as of late is a must-read. (The A.V. Club)
  • L.A. Clippers power forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan dress up as superheroes at a costume party. (Sports Illustrated)
  • MGM releases the first official trailer for its remake of 1987 action classic RoboCop [when did we start spelling it with a capital “C”?—ed], which is not to be confused with Robocop: Last Stand, the comic book adaptation of the Frank Miller screenplay to the unproduced third sequel to the original. (YouTube)
  • Writer J.W. Rinzler on the 1974 George Lucas screenplay he’s currently adapting for Dark Horse’s The Star Wars eight-part miniseries: “[Lucas] knew this was not going to be filmable.” (NY Daily News/AP)

In case you missed them…

ClassicSpace1999ToEverythingThatWas_TP_REV-001Don’t forget that we regularly post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers. This week, we’ve got sneak peeks of eight titles including a preview of Classic Space: 1999—To Everything That Was, a trade paperback that’s sure to be a hit with fans of the British sci-fi cult classic.

On the Leaving Proof front, we do an in-depth breakdown of Larry Hama’s “Ten Rules of Drawing a Comic Book Page” with examples drawn from the works of Will Eisner, John Severin, John Byrne, Erik Larsen, Chris Schweizer, Adam Warren and more. We also share recommendations for comics for the classroom and talk about the historical occult-action anime series Ghost Slayers Ayashi.

Troy Osgood also has a review of the aforementioned The Star Wars #1, based on the original 1974 screenplay penned by George Lucas and Forever Evil #1, the latest “event” title from DC Comics.

We leave you now with this time-lapse video of a man creating an Iron Man “balloon costume” from 364 individual colored balloons.

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